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W. F. LYNCH, U.S.N., 





Entered, according to the Act of Congress, in the year 1849, by 


in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for the Eastern 
District of Pennsylvania. 



${liB Untruth* 










The object of the Expedition, the narrative of which 
is here presented, was unknown to the public, until a 
very short time prior to its departure from the United 
States, when the indications were such as to induce me 
to apprehend that it was not appreciated. Nevertheless, 
I had an abiding faith in the ultimate issue, which 
cheered me on ; for I felt that a liberal and enlightened 
community would not long condemn an attempt to 
explore a distant river, and its wondrous reservoir, — the 
first, teeming with sacred associations, and the last, 
enveloped in a mystery, which had defied all previous 
attempts to penetrate it. 

As soon as possible after our return, I handed in my 
official report, and, at the same time, asked permission to 
publish a narrative or diary, of course embracing much, 
necessarily elicited by visiting such interesting scenes, 
that would be unfit for an official paper. To this appli- 
cation, I was induced by hearing of the proposed pub- 
lication of a Narrative of the Expedition, said to be by 
a member of the party. The permission asked, was 



granted by the Hon. J. Y. Mason, Secretary of the Navy, 
with the remark, "I give this assent with the more 
pleasure, because I do not think that you should be 
anticipated by any other, who had not the responsibility 
of the enterprise." 

Feeling that what may be said on the subject had 
better be rendered imperfectly by myself than by 
another, I have been necessarily hurried ; and the reader 
will decide whether the narrative which follows was 
elaborately prepared, or written "currente calamo." 

To J. Kobinson, D. D., of the Union Theological Semi- 
nary, New York, I was indebted for letters to his friends 
in Beirut, and for much information furnished from his 
copious store. I have also to thank Professor Haldeman, 
of Columbia, Pa., for some valuable suggestions, which I 

To Mr. Stephens, of New York, the author of one 
of the most interesting books of travels which our lan- 
guage can produce, I return, in this public manner, my 
acknowledgments for a timely letter, written when the 
equipment of the Expedition was under consideration. 

While I am responsible for everything here advanced, 
it is proper to say, that I have occasionally used the 
notes of other members of the Expedition; and am 
particularly indebted to Mr. Bedlow, who accompanied 
the land party down the valley of the Jordan. 

The drawings are by Lieutenant Dale and Passed- 
Midshipman Aulick, — some of them complete, and some 


outline sketches. To Messrs. Gilbert and Gihon, of this 
city, who undertook the illustrations, I am indebted 
for the beautiful wood-engravings which accompany the 
volume. They are all true to nature; each scene was 
taken upon the spot it was intended to delineate, and 
every portrait is a likeness. 

The maps were prepared by Mr. F. D. Stuart, of 
Washington, from copies furnished by Mr. Aulick, from 
the labours of Mr. Dale and himself. 

Through fatigue, privation and sickness, the officers 
and men of the Expedition acquitted themselves man- 
fully; and the only drawback to our grateful recollec- 
tions is, that one who shared our labours has not been 
spared to participate in the gratification of our return. 
Lieutenant Dale was an able and accomplished officer, 
and, by his death, the profession has been shorn of one 
of its proudest ornaments. His wife has since followed 
him to the grave ; but, in his name, he has left a rich 
inheritance to his children. 

I am wholly unskilled in author-craft, and have sought 
rather to convey correct ideas, than to mould har- 
monious sentences. I send this forth, therefore, in 
trepidation, yet with a confiding trust in that charitable 
construction which the people of this country have never 
denied to any one who honestly does his best. 

Philadelphia, May, 1849. 



"W. F. Lynch, Lieutenant-Commanding. 

John B. Dale, Lieutenant. 

R. Aulick, Passed-Midshipman. 

Francis E. Lynch, Charge of Herbarium. 

Joseph C. Thomas, Master's Mate. 

George Overstock, Seaman. 

Francis Williams, " 

Charles Homer, " 

Hugh Read, " 

John Robinson, " 

Gilbert Lee, " 

George Lockwood, €t 

Charles Albertson, " 

Henry Loveland, u 

Henry Bedlow, Esq., and Henry J. Anderson, M. D., 
were associated with the Expedition as volunteers, after 
its original organization, — the first at Constantinople, 
and the other at Beirut. More zealous, efficient, and 
honourable associates could not have been desired. 
They were ever in the right place, bearing their full 
share of watching and privation. To the skill of Mr. 
Bedlow, the wounded seaman was indebted for the pre- 
servation of his life ; and words are inadequate to express 
how in sickness, forgetful of himself, he devoted all his 
efforts to the relief of his sick companions. 




Sketch-Map of the River Jordan To face page 13 

Sketch-Map of the Dead Sea 268 


Source of the Jordan Frontispiece. 

Camp on the River Belus To face page 126 

'Akil Aga 128 

Sherif of Mecca 134 

Caravan of the Expedition 146 

Tiberias 154 

Ruined Bridge of Semakh 176 

Jum'ah ... 216 

View on the Jordan ► 234 

Sherif Masa'd, Emir Nassir, and Beni Sukr Sheikh 244 

Pilgrims Bathing in the Jordan 262 

Shore of the Dead Sea 276 

Ain Jidy 290 

Pillar of Salt 308 

A Ta'amirah ... 314 

Mustafa the Cook 318 

Masada .... 332 

Christian Arabs of Kerak 342 

Sheikh of Mezra'a 346 

Wady Mojeb 368 

Greek Archbishop . . . . 388 

Tomb of Absalom 398 

Garden of Gethsemane 416 

Tombs in the Valley of Jehoshaphat 418 

Greek Priest at Nazareth 462 

Fountain of Nazareth 464 

Great Sheikh of the 'Anazeh Tribes 494 

Baalbec 500 

A (ix > 





Application to the Navy Department — Favourable result — Vessel desig- 
nated — Preparations — Metallic boats — Selection of men — Officers — 
Orders for departure — Instructions for the Expedition — Detention of 
the ship — Time employed in various preparations — Water-bags — 
Boats, and the means of their transportation 13 



Sail from New York — Pleasing anticipations — Currents and gales — The 
Azores — Trafalgar — Strait of Gibraltar — The Mediterranean — St. Roque 
— Algesiras — View of Gibraltar — Aspect of the town — Defences — 
Character of the population — Fort St. Philip — A rash vow — Retrospect 
— A disappointment — Small-pox on board — Port Mahon — Its disadvan- 
tages — Balearic Isles — Celtic Ruins 16 



Departure from Mahon — Arrival at Valetta — Pleasing incident — Leave 
Malta — Enter the Egean Sea — View of the shores of Greece — Reflec- 
tions — Oriental scenes — Smyrna — Turkish women — Aspect of Smyrna 
— Turkish cemeteries — Punishment of crime — Its necessity — Revolting 
execution — Environs of Smyrna — Fertility of the soil — An excursion — 
A Turkish garden — Beautiful scene — The Jannissaries 33 



Embarkation for Constantinople — Motley group — Morning devotions — 
Shores of Greece — The Hellespont — Classic associations — Sestos — 
A fop on board — A Turkish effendi — Dardanelles — A disappoint- 
ment — Constantinople — Beautiful scene — Tophana — Turkish ladies 
— Caiques — Harbour of Constantinople — Minarets — An American resi- 



dent — Improvements in agriculture — Slavery in Turkey — The Negro 
race — The slave-market — Kind reception — Excursion up the Bos- 
phorus — Scenery — The Black Sea — Tomb of Joshua — Superstition — 
Magnificent view — Probability of invasion by Russia — Servile condition 
of the Turkish women — Blessings of Christianity 48 



Visit to the Sultan — 'Pipes and coffee — Disputed point of etiquette — Ser- 
vility of the officers — Presence of the Saltan — Sad reflections — Offer of 
a present — The American minister — Visit to the mosques — The Hippo- 
drome — Call of the Muezzins — Tomb of Sultan Mahmoud — Turkish 
reforms — Subterranean cisterns — Bazaars — Bargaining — Women in 
public — Visit of the Sultan to the mosque — His appearance — The 
barracks — The seraglio — Hall of ambassadors — Armory — Stables — 
Cemeteries — Variety of costumes — Environs of the city — Excursion up 
the Bosphorus — Barbarossa's tomb — Cemetery of Scutari — Dancing 
dervishes — Necessity of religion — St. Stefano — Visit Dr. Davis — Village 
dignitaries— Receive our firman — Embarkation — Rejoin the "Supply" 

— Leave Smyrna — Gale — Scio — Riding on a rail — Ruins of Ephesus 

— Ayasalouk — Church of St. John — "Bishop's Palace" — The river 
Meander — Visit to the Governor — Visit returned — Greek fashionables 
— Scala Nuova — Patmos — Cos — Lunar rainbow — Candia — Rhodes — 
Cyprus — Mountains of Lebanon 71 



Beirut — Visit to the Pasha — Preparations — Peculiar costume — Departure 
— Sidon and Tyre — St. Jean dAcre — Mount Carmel — Dangerous land- 
ing — Extensive view — Convent of Mount Carmel — Grotto of Elias — 
Boats landed and tents pitched — Thieving — First night ashore — Arab 
horses — Brook Kishon — Akka — Visit to the American Consul — Appear- 
ance of the town — A drawback to personal charms — Governor of Acre 
— A conference — Difficulties — Arab curiosity — Audience at the palace 

— Singular mode of begging — Akil Aga — Attempt at extortion — 
Meeting with American travellers — Exciting reports — Deliberations — 
Troublesome visitors — Etiquette — Sherif of Mecca — Camels used for 
draught — Delays — Beautiful mirage — Letter to Dr. Anderson 1 14 



Disappointments — Effrontery of Sa'id Bey — Journey continued — Plain of 
Acre — Village of Abelin — Doubts and mistrust — Character of the village 


and surrounding country — Inhospitable reception — Embarrassing posi- 
tion — Relief — Arab morals — An escort — Blowing Valley — Picturesque 
views — Khan el Dielil — Castle of Sefurieh — Nazareth — Reflections — 
Mode of dealing among the Arabs — Equestrian exercises — Difficulties 
of the road — Turan— Mount Tabor— Meet Dr. Anderson — An Arab 
Repast — Music — Lubieh — Character of the country — Magnificent 
scenery — The Sea of Galilee — Thrilling emotions — Safed — Joseph's 
Well — Tiberias — Reception — Visits from and to the Governor — Admin- 
istration of justice — Thraldom of the Jews — Chapel of St. Peter — Jewish 
Synagogues — Habits and costume of the Jewish females — Letters from 
Jerusalem — Firman from the Pasha — Express from Acre — Launch of 
the boats — Profound emotion — Hot baths — Ruins of Tiberias — Produc- 
tions of the plain — Excursion on the lake — Genesareth — Mejdel, or 
Magdala — Fish — Discouraging accounts of the Jordan — Filthy lodgings 
— Summary dealings — Preparations for the Expedition — Visit from an 
ogre prince — Assignment of duties — Departure of the land-party 139 



Departure of the boats — Scenery of the lake — Enter the Jordan — Mount 
Hermon — Bridge of Semakh — Dangerous situation of the boats — Cha- 
racter of the country — Arab hospitality — Formidable rapids — Trouble- 
some strangers — More rapids — Village of Abeidiyeh — Falls and whirl- 
pool of Buk'ah — Ruins of Delhemiyeh — Rejoined by the land-party — 
Predatory habits of the Bedawin — Account furnished by the land-party 
— Visit from Emir Nasser — Preparations for further progress — Night- 
encampment 171 




Daybreak excursion — Profusion of flowers — Gadara — Loss of a boat — Pas- 
sage of the cascades — Imprudence — Descent of the fourth rapid — the 
River Yermak — View from a hill-top — Another frightful rapid — Bridge 
of the Place of Meeting — Ruined khan — Bedawin encampment — Con- 
tinued succession of rapids — Excessive heat — A noble Arab — Ruins 
of Gadara — Land of Issachar — Visit of Lieutenant Dale to Muhammed 
Pasha— Preparations for defence — Perilous situation of the Fanny Ma- 
son — Escape — Peculiar formation of the hills — Desert silence — Principal 
productions — Change of climate — Arab camp — Commotion — Extra- 
ordinary windings of the river — Starting of the caravan — Desolate 
aspect of the country — Heat and drought — A relief — Arab beauty — A 
pastoral entertainment — A Turkish camp — An unwelcome escort — 

Arab tents — Voracity of the Arabs — A false alarm 18G 





Start anew — Wonder of the barbarians — Windings — Rapid current — Beau-* 
tiful scenery — Wild beasts — Birds — Management of the boats— Sand- 
banks and islands — Meeting with Akil — Perils of the voyage — Change 
of aspect — Eastern Mountains — The ogre prince and his tribe — Geo- 
logical features of the country — Prevailing productions — Numerous 
islands — Fish and Birds — Wild Boars — Indications of ruins — Pre- 
cautions — Dangers of navigation — Ruins of Succoth — True character 
of the camel — Route of the caravan — Fording the river — A Floral plain 
— Fresh difficulties and dangers of the river — Abundance of the thistle 
— General description of the country — Ford of Scka — Alarming intelli- 
gence — Exciting incident — Painful desolation — Vegetation on the 
Jordan — The zukkum — Botanical specimens — Muhammedan sects — 
Nocturnal anxiety — Arab fraternization — Description of the river — 
An Eastern scene — Picturesque view — Mournful music — A singular 
minstrel — The Emir's love-song 211 



Changes in the vegetation — Suspicious neighbourhood — Fresh perils — 
Roman bridge — Arab cookery — Mode of eating — Parting with the Emir 
— Aspect and productions of the banks — Singular caverns — River Jabok 
— Scripture localities — An alarm — A present received — More rapids — 
Cold — A night voyage — Disagreeable situation — El Meshra'a — A 
sacred spot — Capture of a camel — Gazelles — Jericho — Glimpse of the 
Dead Sea and mountains of Moab — Pilgrim's Ford — False alarm — Army 
of pilgrims — Bathing in the Jordan — Happy meeting — Determination to 
proceed*— Letter to the Secretary of the Navy 245 



Further progress — Character of the river — Enter the Dead Sea— Gale — 
Arab tradition — Discouragements — Change of weather— Aspect of the 
shores — Night upon the sea — Apprehensions — A landing — Pleasing in- 
cident — Ancient caverns — Fountain of the Stride — Dismissal of our 
escort — Excursion — Painful Desolation — Arab honour — A Bedawin 
feast — Leave-taking — Unwelcome music — Arabs at prayer — Evidences 
of animated nature — Wretched appearance of proffered guides — 
Anxiety respecting the boats — Their safe return — Soundings of the 


Dead Sea — Brook Kidron— Valley of Jehoshaphat— Cliff of Mukutta— 
Aspect of the shores of the sea— Fresh-water stream— Preparations for 
moving southward 266 



Incidents at starting — Delightful spot — Vegetable products — Shooting at 
ducks — Quiet night scene — Intelligence from Dr. Anderson — Hills and 
ravines — Ruins — Remarkable caves — Wilderness of Engaddi — Disap- 
pointment — Fruits and flowers — Evidences of former cultivation — Cav- 
ernous mountain — Examination of the boats — Barometrical and ther- 
mometrical observations — Scruples of the Arabs in regard to pork — 
Their sobriety — Their habits of pilfering' — Singular phenomenon — 
Arabs' opinion of the cause of our visit — Commerce — Anxiety respect- 
ing provisions — Observe Easter Sunday — Atmospheric phenomena — 
Wild boars brought in — Inaccessible caverns — A welcome arrival — 
Currents in the Dead Sea — Magnificent sunset — An Arab dance — Kind- 
ness of Mr. Finn, the British Consul — An unexpected luxury — Illness 
of a seaman — Departure for the peninsula — Orders — -Result of sound- 
ings — Description of the Peninsula — Geological formation — Total ab- 
sence of vegetation — Bushes incrusted with salt — The River Arnon — 
Discouraging information — Arab improvisatore 282 



Start upon a reconnoissance — The escort escorted — Currents — General 
observations — Cliff of Sebbeh — Ruined fortification — Geological forma- 
tion of the western shore — Locusts — Moses' stone — Fears and anxieties 
of the Arabs — Ruins — Distressing heat — A sirocco — Search for the ford 
— Landing at Usdum — Salt mountain — Pillar of salt — Bitter melon — 
Dismiss the Arabs — Muddy shore — Heat of the soil — Difficulties in 
taking observations — Complete desolation — Lofty hills — Remarkable 
phenomenon — Burning hurricane — Ancient mill-stone — Painful effects 
of the sirocco — Apprehensions of the Arabs — Physical conformation of 
the tribes — Insupportable heat and thirst — A dreadful night — Abate- 
ment of the heat — An alarm — A menaced attack — Zoar — Moab — Arabs' 
ideas respecting the boats — Verification of Scripture narrative — Another 
sirocco — Scarcity of provisions — Usefulness of the Arabs — Atmospheric 
refraction — Tendency to drowsiness — Return to Ain Jidy — Intelligence 
from home — European news — Reflections — Dwellings in the rock — 
Egerian fountain— Delicious bath — Luxurious repast — Singular appear- 
ance of the sea — Density of the water — Experiments — Opinion of Galen 
— The osher, or apple of Sodom — Character of the north winds 301 




Call to prayer — Party despatched to Masada — Firing of minute-guns in 
honour of Ex-President Adams — Remarkable changes in the aspect of 
the sea — Mode of reaping and threshing among the Arabs — Their hu- 
manity to animals — Singular illusion — Dangerous route — Ruins of 
Masada 328 



The day of rest — Effects of the climate upon health — Heat and desolation 
— Irresistible drowsiness — Painful forebodings — Battle between two 
parties of Arabs — Friendly invitation from the sheikh Abd Allah — 
Benefits of bathing — Luxuriant vegetation — An Arab present — The fel- 
lahin tribes — Mezra'a — Christian Arabs — Mode of salutation — Interest- 
ing incident — Meteors — Damages to the boats — Preparation of speci- 
mens — Wild boar killed — Density of the water in the bay — Generous 
conduct of the Arabs — Zoar — Ancient ruins — Muslim and Christian 
sheikhs — Letter from Akil — Curiosity and superstition of the Arabs — 
Songs of welcome and war-cries — Fears of treachery — Preparations for 
defence — Inland excursion — Ancient fortification— Stupendous view — 
Appalling storm — Wild character of the scenery — Inexpertness of the 
Arab marksmen — Symptoms of cultivation — Entrance into Kerak — 
Filth and discomfort of the dwellings — Annoying curiosity — A Christian 
priest and chapel — Magnificence of the castle — The cemetery — Ambi- 
tious views of Akil — Discontent of the Muslim sheikh — Reasons for 
distrust — Oppression of the Christians of Kerak — Their appeal to the 
Christians of America — Nocturnal pleasures — Departure from Kerak — 
Insolence of the Arabs — Precautions — Muhammed made prisoner — 
Arrival at the beach — Letter to Akil — Extortion practised upon former 
travellers — Release of Muhammed — Embarkation 335 



The river Arnon — Lofty cliffs — Singular ravine — Fears of sickness — 
Sketch of the shores — Hot springs of Callirohoe — Delightful contrast — 
Privation and discontent — Reflections 367 




Changes of temperature — Disappointment— Machserus — Deep soundings 
—Arrival at Ain Turabeh— Return to the tents— Preparation for depar- 
ture — Intense heat— Sirocco— The bulbul— Increasing heat— The Ame- 
rican flag floating over the sea — Analysis of the water — Result of our 
labours— Hypotheses— Conviction of the truth of the Scripture narrative 
— Our last night on the Dead Sea , 372 



Breaking up of our camp — Regrets at leaving — Incidents of the journey — 
Night encampment— Sherif tells his history— His character— Indebted- 
ness of the expedition to his fidelity— Monks of Mar Saba— Intelligence 
from the sick seamen — Rapid change of climate — Dreary scenery — 
Holy associations — Specimens forwarded — Painful alternations of tem- 
perature — The brook Kedron — Convent of Mar Saba — Plants and 
flowers — The hyssop — Thunder-storm — Accident — Sabbath rest — 
The coney 381 



Arab attendants discharged — Labours renewed — Rocky cistern — The vir- 
tue of necessity — Desolate aspect of the country — Fulfilment of pro- 
phecy — A contrast — Painful reflections — Arab burial-ground — Tokens 
of cultivation — Arab encampment — Tobacco — Pilgrims' road — The 
tribe Subeih — Curiosity of the people — Troublesome interference — At- 
tempted extortion — Pastoral scene — Highly cultivated valley — Inse- 
curity of the husbandman — An Arab's love — Mode of courtship — Tales 
of jealousy and revenge — First view of Jerusalem — Impression pro- 
duced — Prominent objects — Character of the surrounding country — 
Well of Job — Mount of offence — Pool of Siloam — Fountain of the Virgin 
— Village of Siloam — Tombs of Absalom, Zacharias, and Jehoshaphat — 
Garden of Gethsemane — Valley of the Son of Hinnom — Traditionary 
spots — The Aceldama— Garden of Urias — Mount Zion — Hill of Evil 
Counsel — Tents pitched — View from the encampment — Night under 
the walls of Jerusalem 389 




Cold morning — Levelling proceeded with — Turkish military review — 
Tomb of the Empress Helena — Scenery on the Jaffa road — Convent of 
the Holy Cross — Ludicrous superstition — View of the city from this 
point — Description — Habitations of the lepers — Boats sent to Jaffa — Re- 
creation — Dr. Anderson leaves us — His praiseworthy conduct — Extract 
from the diary of one of the officers — His first day in Jerusalem — Via 
Dolorosa — Threatened attack — Mosque of Omar — Church of the Holy 
Sepulchre — Motley groups — Mendicity — Pious zeal of the pilgrims — 
Description of the interior of the Church of the Sepulchre — Ascent of 
the Mount of Olives — View from the summit — Visit to the Garden of 
Gethsemane — The Golden Gate — Fountain of the Virgin — Armenian 
convent— Splendid chapel — Character of the visitors to Jerusalem — 
Traditionary fables — Sacred localities, their claims to confidence — Re- 
flections — Skepticism and blind credulity — Speculations upon the future 
— Scripture predictions — Scientific labours continued — Description of 
interesting localities — Magnificent view from the Mount of Olives — A 
coxcomb out of place — Kindness of the British Consul — Scanty condi- 
tion of our wardrobe — Expedients — Pool of Bethesda — Picturesque 
scene — Varieties of costume — Singular marriage-procession — Pompous 
promenade of the foreign consuls — Walls of the city— iMuhammedan 
and Christian predictions — Visit to Bethlehem — Pool of Gihon — Well of 
the Magi— Plain of Rephaim— Convent of John the Baptist— Tomb of 
Rachel — Wilderness of St. John — Valley of Elah — David's Well — 
Doubts as to the birth-place of the Messiah — Calmet's views — Hill of 
the Annunciation — Ruth's gleaning-ground — Lovely rural view — Treat- 
ment of pilgrims at Jerusalem — Restrictions upon Christians — Products 
of the surrounding country 400 



Preparations for departure— Mizpeh — Affecting incident — Luxuriant vege- 
tation — Bridge of the Kulonieh — Picturesque scene — A cameleon 
caught — Restrictions upon the Arab tribes — Craft met by craft — Acute- 
ness of hearing of the Arabs — Peculiarities in their physical conforma- 
tion — The North American Indian — Results of education — The Arab 
and Indian contrasted — Chateaubriand's opinion — Further progress — 
Character of the country — Scriptural localities — Meeting with a lady 
traveller — Execrable nature of the roads and accommodations — Kirjath- 
jearim — Attempt to stop our progress — An Arab robber sheikh — The 
olive tree — View of the Mediterranean— Exhilaration of feeling — Vale 


of Sharon— Visit from a sheikh— Pastoral scene — Improvement in the 
roads — Village of Latrun— Gaza— Kubab— Jackals— Singular mode of 
loading donkeys — Filthy habits of the people — Ramleh — Traditions — 
Environs of the town — Yazur — Dervishes and pilgrims — Fountain and 
mosque — Results of our operations in levelling — Jaffa — Proposed har- 
bour — Description of the town and its environs — Copt village — Muham- 
medan superstitions — Throwing the djerid — Funeral procession — Syro- 
American consul — Historical and mythological recollections of Jaffa — 
Traditions — Population — Dinner at the Consul's house — A beautiful 
woman — Etiquette — Kindness and courtesy of the consul — Bridal pro- 
cession — Treatment of Turkish wives — Laws of divorce — Universal 
thraldom of woman — Turkish laws of inheritance— Seclusion of females 
in Syria — Dine at the house of the British Consul — Singular costume of 
his lady — Agricultural improvements introduced by him — Anecdotes — 
Supposed antediluvian rain — Zodiacal lights — An estrangement — Boats 
launched — The estrangement explained — Treatment of slaves 426 



Preparations — An Arab's toilet — Departure of the land-party for St. Jean 
d'Acre — Embarkation — Detention — View of Jaffa from the harbour — 
Start afresh — Meditations suggested by the scenery — Arrival at St. Jean 
d'Acre — Route of the land-party — Ruins of Apollonia — El Haram — 
Mukhalid — Es Skarki— Incidents — Ruins of Caesarea — The river Zerka 
— Town of Tantura — Dreadful accident to one of the seamen — Castle 
of the pilgrims — Mount Carmel — Village of Haifa — Visit from Sherif 
and 'Akil — Visit returned — Arab entertainment — Start for Nazareth — 
Valley of the Winds — Annoying accident — Arrival at Nazareth — Scene 
at the Fountain of the Virgin — Franciscan convent — Traditions — De- 
scription of the town — Turkish tax-gatherer — Flowers collected 454 



Start for Mount Tabor — Plain of Esdraelon — Village of Nain — Ascent to 
the summit of Mount Tabor — Ruins — Extensive view — Proceed onward 
— Ruined villages — Bid farewell to the lower Jordan — Sea of Galilee — 
Ruins of Tarrichaea and Kades — Hot bath of Emmaus — Tiberias — Dis- 
appointment — Fountain Bareideh — Magdala — Localities passed — Ruins 
of Khan Minyeh — Fountain of the Fig — Supposed site of Capernaum — 
Debouchure of the upper Jordan — Singular tents — Disturbed rest — 
Bethsaida — Aspect of the country — View of Mount Hermon — Lake 
Merom — Fountain of the Salt Works — The Golden Stream— Castle of 


Honin — Roman bridge — The Ancient Dan — Copious springs — Deriva- 
tion of the word Jordan — Cesarea Philippi — Ruins — River of Banias — 
Fabulous legends — Improvements in culture and civilization — Town of 
Hasbeiya — Reception of visitors — Population of the town — Variety of 
sects — Religious discord — Persecution of Protestants — Horrors of 
Fanaticism — Visit from Prince Ali — Source of the Jordan — Magnificent 
scene — Costume of the prince — Dress of the lower orders — Terrace 
cultivation — The Druses — Their religious tenets — Their costume — 
Visit to the valley of the Litany — Pits of Bitumen — Women at the 
fountain — A trying transition 464 



Joyful intelligence — Start for Damascus — Druse villages — Disappearance 
of cultivation — Character of the vegetation — Gorge of the Wistanee — 
Fine view — Cities visible — Abortive attempt to ascertain the height of 
Mount Hermon — Snow — Geological features — Mineral spring — Legend 

— Reappearance of cultivation — Approach to Damascus — Beautiful 
gardens — Description of the town — Meeting with an American — The 
flag of our country displayed — Pleasant quarters — A cafe — Curious 
scene — Multitude of dogs — Turkish insolence— The bazaars — A bath — 
Population — Entertained by American missionaries — A family history 

— St. Paul's escape from Damascus — Antiquity of the town — Vicissi- 
tudes in its history — Jewish dwellings — Dress of the Jews — Distin- 
guished visitors — Leave the city — Striking and beautiful view — Cha- 
racter of the surrounding country — Village of Zebdany — Fine gardens 

— Traditions — Holy spring — A haughty Kurd prince — An Arab 
drunkard — Plain of Buk'ah — Arab traditions — Ruins of Heliopolis — 
Lamartine's description — Indisposition of some of the party — Enormous 
block of granite — Roman mound — Arab fellahas — Night encampment 
— Increasing sickness— Self-reproaches — Route continued — Numerous 
villages — Town of Zahley — Disheartening occurrences — Roman road — 
Unexpected relief — Arrival at the sea -shore — Disappointment — 
Exhaustion and increasing illness — Medical relief — Convalescence — 
Anniversary of our country's independence — Alarming illness of Mr. 
Dale — Kindness of Rev. Mr. Smith and Dr. De Forest — Visit from Dr. 
Vandyke— Case of unfeeling selfishness— Death of Mr. Dale— Prepara- 
tions to convey the remains to his native land — Painful accident and 
disappointment — Interment of the body in the Frank cemetery — 
Embarkation — Tedious passage — Arrival at Malta — Kindness of the 
American Consul — Quarantined — Arrival of the Supply— Reembarka- 
tion — Uncourteous reception at Naples, Marseilles, and Gibraltar — 
Arrival home — Conclusion 48 1 


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On the 8th of May, 1847, the town and castle of 
Vera Cruz having some time before surrendered, and 
there being nothing left for the Navy to perform, I pre- 
ferred an application to the Hon. John Y. Mason, the 
head of the department, for permission to circumnavi- 
gate and thoroughly explore the Lake Asphaltites or 
Dead Sea. 

My application having been for some time under 
consideration, I received notice, on the 31st of July, of 
a favourable decision, with an order to commence the 
necessary preparations. 

On the 2d of October, I received an order to take 
command of the U. S. store-ship "Supply," formerly 
called the " Crusader." 

In the mean time, while the ship was being prepared 
for her legitimate duty of supplying the squadron with 
stores, I had, by special authority, two metallic boats, 
a copper and a galvanized iron one, constructed, and 
shipped ten seamen for their crews. I was very par- 

2 ■ (*ii) 


ticular in selecting young, muscular, native-born Ame- 
ricans, of sober habits, from each of whom I exacted 
a pledge to abstain from all intoxicating drinks. To 
this stipulation, under Providence, is principally to be 
ascribed their final recovery from the extreme prostra- 
tion consequent on the severe privations and great 
exposure to which they were unavoidably subjected. 

Two officers, Lieutenant J. B. Dale and Passed Mid- 
shipman E. Aulick, both excellent draughtsmen, were 
detailed to assist me in the projected enterprise. With 

In November I received orders to proceed to Smyrna, 
as soon as the ship should in all respects be ready for 
sea ; and, through Mr. Carr, U. S. Resident Minister at 
Constantinople, apply to the Turkish government for 
permission to pass through a part of its dominions in 
Syria, for the purpose of exploring the Dead Sea, and 
tracing the River Jordan to its source. 

I was then directed, if the firman were granted, to 
relinquish the ship to the first lieutenant, and land 
with the little party under my command on the coast 
of Syria. The ship was then to proceed to deliver 
stores to the squadron, and Commodore Read was 
instructed to send her back in time for our re-embar- 

In the event of the firman being refused, I was 
directed to rejoin the squadron without proceeding to 
the coast of Syria. 

The ship was long delayed for the stores necessary 
to complete her cargo. The time was, however, fully 
occupied in collecting materials and procuring infor- 
mation. One of the men engaged was a mechanic, 
whose skill would be necessary in taking apart and 
putting together the boats, which were made in sec- 
tions. I also had him instructed in blasting rocks, 


should such a process become necessary to ensure the 
transportation of the boats across the mountain ridges 
of Galilee and Judea. 

Air-tight gum-elastic water bags were also procured, 
to be inflated when empty, for the purpose of serving 
as life-preservers to the crews in the event of the 
destruction of the boats. 

Our arms consisted of a blunderbuss, fourteen car- 
bines with long bayonets, and fourteen pistols, four 
revolving and ten with bowie-knife blades attached. 
Each officer carried his sword, and all, officers and 
men, were provided with ammunition belts. 

As taking the boats apart would be a novel experi- 
ment, which might prove unsuccessful, I had two low 
trucks (or carriages without bodies) made, for the pur- 
pose of endeavouring to transport the boats entire from 
the Mediterranean to the Sea of Galilee. The trucks, 
when fitted, were taken apart and compactly stowed in 
the hold, together with two sets of harness for draught 
horses. The boats, when complete, were hoisted in, 
and laid keel up on a frame prepared for them ; and 
with arms, ammunition, instruments, tents, flags, sails, 
oars, preserved meats, and a few cooking utensils, our 
preparations were complete. 



All things being in readiness, on the 20th of Novem- 
ber we dropped down from the Brooklyn Navy-Yard, 
abreast of the Battery, and waited for a change of 

Friday, Nov. 26, 1847. At 10 A. M. weighed anchor, 
and at 10.15, with a fresh breeze from W. N. W., under 
a press of sail, we stood down the bay of New York. 
Around us the ruffled water was chequered with nu- 
merous sails, and the shadows of detached clouds flit- 
ting before the keen and cutting wind, fit harbinger of 
the coming frost. Before us, the " Narrows" open into 
Raritan Bay, and thence expands into the wide-spread 
and magnificent ocean. 

At 2, P. M., passed the light-house; at 2.30 dis- 
charged the pilot; 2.45 braced our yards to the fresh 
and favouring breeze, and bade, as God in His mercy 
might decree, a temporary or a final adieu to our 
native land. 

In a few hours the low lands were sunk beneath the 
horizon, and at sunset the high lands of " Navesink" 
were alone visible above the agitated surface of the 
water. The dry wind sweeping over the land, which 
had been saturated by the rains of the two preceding 
days, caused an evaporation so great as wonderfully to 
increase the refraction. The setting sun, expanding as 
it dipped, and varying its hues with its expansion, 



assumed forms as unique as they were beautiful. Now- 
elongated in its shape, and now flattened at its ends, it 
would, at times, be disparted by the white crest of an 
intervening wave, and present alternately the appear- 
ance of golden cups and balls, and jewelled censers 
tossing about upon a silver sea. As the minutes ad- 
vanced, the western sky, tint by tint, became one 
glorious suffusion of crimson and orange, and the disc 
of the sun, flattening, widening, and becoming more 
ruddy and glowing as it descended, sunk at last, like a 
globe of ruby in a sea of flame. 

I take this as an auspicious omen, although we sailed 
on Friday, the dreaded day of seamen. Why supersti- 
tion should select this day as an unlucky one, I cannot 
conceive. On the sixth day, Friday, God created man 
and blessed him ; and on Friday, the Kedeemer died for 
man's salvation : on Friday, Columbus sailed from Palos 
in quest of another world: on the same day of the 
week, he saw the realization of his dream of life ; and 
returned upon a Friday, to electrify Europe with the 
wondrous tidings of his discovery. As a harbinger of 
good, therefore, and not of evil, I hail our departure 
upon this favoured day. 

With the setting sun, all vestige of the land disap- 
peared, and nothing remained but a luminous point, 
which, from the solitary light-ship, gleamed tremu- 
lously across the waters. As it sunk beneath the 
waves, our last visible tie with the Western World was 
severed. How gladly on our return, perchance a tem- 
pestuous night, shall we hail that light, which, flicker- 
ing at first, but at length steadfast and true, welcomes 
the weary wanderer to his home ! 

Without the least abatement of affection for, I turn 
with less reluctance than ever from, the land of my 
2* B 


nativity. The yearnings of twenty years were about 
to be gratified. When a young midshipman, almost 
the very least in the escort of the good Lafayette across 
the ocean, my heart was prepared for its subsequent 
aspirations. In truth, in our route across the Atlantic, 
in the silent watches of the night, my mind, lost in 
contemplation, soared from the deep through which we 
ploughed our way, to that upper deep, gemmed with 
stars, revolving in their ceaseless round, and from them 
to the Mighty Hand that made them ; and my previous 
desire to visit the land of the Iliad, of Alexander and 
of Caesar, became merged in an insatiate yearning to 
look upon the country which was the cradle of the hu- 
man race, and the theatre of the accomplishment of that 
race's mysterious destiny; the soil hallowed by the 
footsteps, fertilized by the blood, and consecrated by 
the tomb, of the Saviour. 

Twice, since, at distant intervals, I contemplated 
making the desired visit. But the imperative calls of 
duty in the first instance, and a domestic calamity in 
the second, prevented me. As I have before said, in 
the spring of the present year I asked permission to 
visit the lands of the Bible, with the special purpose 
of thoroughly exploring the Dead Sea; the extent, 
configuration, and depression of which, are as much 
desiderata to science, as its miraculous formation, its 
mysterious existence, and the wondrous traditions re- 
specting it, are of thrilling interest to the Christian. 

The same liberal spirit which decided that the Expe- 
dition should be undertaken, directed ample means to 
be furnished for its equipment. With our boats, there- 
fore, and arms, ammunition, and instruments, I felt 
well prepared for the arduous but delightful task be- 
fore me. 


The boats "Fanny Mason" and "Fanny Skinner," of 
nearly equal dimensions, were named after two young 
and blooming children, whose hearts are as spotless as 
their parentage is pure. Their prayers, like guardian 
spirits, would shield us in the hour of peril; and I 
trusted that, whether threading the rapids of the Jor- 
dan, or floating on the wondrous sea of death, the " Two 
Fannies" would not disgrace the gentle and artless be- 
ings whose names they proudly bore. 

Tuesday, Nov. 30. Spoke an English brig bound to 
New York. She had many passengers on board, and 
had evidently been a long time at sea. Poor fellows ! 
they were sadly out of their reckoning, and we endea- 
voured to correct their longitude, but the wind blew so 
fresh that I fear we were not understood. There are 
few things more exciting than the meeting of two ships 
on the lonely waters. Approaching rapidly, and as 
rapidly receding, but a few moments are allowed for 
friendly greeting ; but, in that brief interval, how many 
thoughts of home and its endearments crowd the mind 
of the anxious wanderer ! 

Thursday, Dec. 2. The wind has freshened into a 
steady gale ; fragments of clouds flit hurriedly across 
the sky ; and the ship, now riding upon the crests, and 
again sunk in the hollow of a wave, rolling and 
plunging, dashes furiously onward, like a maddened 
steed, instinct with desperation. 

The deep colour of the water, its higher tempera- 
ture, and the light mist which shrouded its surface, 
showed that we had been for some days in the Gulf 
Stream, that wonderful current which originates from 
the multitudinous waters that are swept across the At- 
lantic before the trade winds, and impinge against the 
western continent ; thence, sent with a whirl along the 


southern coast of the United States, they are inter- 
cepted by the Bahamas, and turned rapidly to the north 
and east, until, encountering the Grand Bank, they are 
deflected easterly towards the Azores, and thence, pur- 
suing different routes, one branch seeks the Mediter- 
ranean, and the other is lost in the sluggish Sargossa 

Our chronometers, invariably ahead of the reckoning, 
proved that we were accelerated by the current half a 
mile an hour. We occasionally met with patches of 
sea-weed (fucus natans), and this morning found several 
mollusca upon a branch of it. 

Between the coast of the United States and the inner 
edge of the Gulf Stream, we were swept forty miles to 
the southward, attributable, perhaps, to the great polar 
current setting along our coast to the south-west. This 
eddy current of the Gulf Stream may be the cause of 
the increase of cold experienced by navigators on reach- 
ing soundings. 

We were favoured with fresh north-westerly gales, 
frequent rains, and a heavy sea, but there had been no 
great falling of the barometer. When under close reefed 
topsails and a reefed course, with a high sea running, 
the barometer had only fallen A of an inch. On the 
approach of an easterly gale, a few days previous to our 
departure from New York, it fell A of an inch. 

This day, tested thermometrical barometer, No 2. 
Temperature of air, 68°; of surface of the sea, 70°; of 
the sea, at 100 fathoms, 63°. Barometer, 30.6. Water 
boiled at 212.95. Index error, +06. Salt hygrometer 
floated at 1.4. Latitude, 38° 40', north; longitude, 
43° 00', west. 

Tuesday, Dec. 7. The barometer gradually fell, and 
the weather became more and more tempestuous. 


Wednesday, Dec. 8. In the morning watch we were 
compelled to heave to, the ship labouring excessively. 
In the afternoon, the barometer had reached its mini- 
mum, 29.72, when the wind shifted in a sudden squall. 
Although the wind was fierce, the sky was cloudless, 
and the sea exhibited in magnificent confusion its top- 
pling waves, with their foaming crests and driving 
spray, which sailors call spoom-drift, flashing in the 
sunlight. The interest of the scene was heightened by 
several sperm whales sporting in the wild chaos of 
waters, and exhibiting their glossy backs as they rose 
occasionally to the surface, and blew high in air volumes 
of water from their capacious nostrils. 

Thursday, Dec. 9. The fitful airs throughout the day 
indicated, apart from our observations, the near vicinity 
of the land. 

Friday, Dec. 11. This morning, made the islands of 
Corvo and Flores, the north- westernmost of the Azores, 
and by sunset we had reached the meridian of Flores, 
its brown and furrowed sides undecked with a single 
flower, and giving no indication of the origin of its 
name. Fearing that we should be becalmed if we ran 
to leeward of it, and the sea setting heavily upon Corvo, 
I determined to run between them, although we had no 
chart of the islands, and no one on board knew whether 
or not the passage was practicable. To this, I was 
induced by two considerations : In the first place, from 
the rounded summits of the islands, they are evidently 
of volcanic origin, and shoals are rare in such vicinities. 
In the second place, the sea ran so high, that it must 
break over any intervening obstacle, and present a dis- 
tinct and prohibitory line of foam. We therefore stood 
boldly through, and, as if to cheer us, the rays of the 
setting sun, intercepted by a rain-cloud which had 


swept over us, arched the passage with the best-defined 
and most vivid rainbow I have ever seen. It was so 
striking, that every draughtsman on board was imme- 
diately employed, endeavouring to catch the flitting 
beauties of the scene. 

In the middle of the passage, the bow had faded away 
with the setting sun, leaving the sky less brilliant, but 
far more beautiful. In the east, directly ahead, rose 
the planet Jupiter, lustrous as a diamond, cresting with 
his brilliant light the line of vapour which skirted the 
horizon. Near the zenith, shone the moon in her meri- 
dian; lower down, the fiery Mars; and in the west, 
the beautiful Venus slowly descended, enveloped in the 
golden hues of the sun, which had preceded her. The 
gorgeous sun, the placid moon, the gem-like Jupiter, 
and the radiant Venus, bespoke the enduring serenity 
and the joys of Heaven; while the agitated sea, crested 
with foam, breaking loudly on either shore, which, in 
the gathering dimness, seemed in dangerous proximity, 
told of the anxieties and perils of this transitory life. 

We passed through unimpeded, at a glorious rate, 
and the next day, at 4 P. M., were abreast and in sight 
of the island Graciosa, the last of the group in our line 
of route, its rude outlines dimly seen through its misty 
shroud. The barren faces of these lofty islands present 
no indication of their fertility. They abound, however, 
in cereal grains, and produce an excellent wine. They 
are frequently resorted to by our whalers, and by 
homeward-bound Indiamen, for supplies. 

A case of varioloid made its appearance on board, 
but so slight as to create no alarm, and in the opinion 
of the surgeon, did not require isolation. I had my 
misgivings, for it is but the milder type of a disease as 
insidious as it is loathsome ; and, with the concurrence 


of the surgeon, purposed to have every officer and man 
vaccinated the first opportunity. 

Friday, Dec. 17. Made Cape St. Vincent, the "Sa- 
crum Promontorium" of the Komans, the south-western 
extremity of vine-clad Portugal, as it is of Europe also. 
This is the second time we have made land upon a 
Friday. It was off this cape that Admiral Jarvis 
gained his celebrated victory, and from it was derived 
the title of his patent of nobility. 

During the night, the wind hauled to the southward 
and freshened to a gale, making it necessary to stand 
off from the shore. At 4 A. M., without an instant's 
warning, the wind shifted in a squall, taking the sails 
aback, the most perilous position, with a heavy sea, in 
which a ship can be placed. Fortunately the courses 
were not set, and the noble ship, although pressed 
down and deeply buried, obeyed the reverse, helm and 
paid off before the wind. Had she been less buoyant 
and seaworthy, she must have inevitably foundered. 
The squall subsided into a steady breeze, and passing 
Cape St. Vincent, we were, at meridian, abreast of the 
coast of romantic Spain — its mountains, towering as 
they recede from the shore, have wreathed their craggy 
summits with the mist which floats in the distance. 

Sunday, Dec. 19. Made Cape Trafalgar, and sailed 
over the scene of the great conflict between the fleet of 
England and the combined fleets of France and Spain. 
Here, the great Collingwood broke the opposing line ! 
There the heroic Nelson, the terror of his foes and the 
pride of his countrymen, nobly, but prematurely fell — 
his last pulsation an exultant throb, as the shout of 
victory rang in his dying ear. He died gloriously, for 
he fell in his country's cause, but prematurely for his 
own fair fame. Had he lived his noble nature would 


have freed itself from the thraldom of a syren, and 
casting aside the seductions of the beautiful daughter 
of sin, his after life would have been as morally great, 
as his early deeds were unequalled in daring achieve- 

We have now a mottled sky above us, and ride upon 
a tumultuous but not a stormy sea. The waves, like 
clumsy, living things, rush and tumble along in the 
utmost seeming disorder, and we have only the sweep 
of the wind and the surge of the sea, as the waves 
topple and break around and before us. 

Then, the atmosphere was pure and the sky serene, 
and the gentle and undulating waves pressed the sides 
of the huge armaments they supported, their aspect 
lovely and their rippling sound melodious. The light 
breeze, bearing fragrance on its wing, wooed the upper 
sails of the advancing fleet in its soft embrace, and 
slowly propelled it towards the opposing line. A few 
brief moments, and how changed the scene ! The 
balmy air became murky, sulphurous, and stifling, and 
one dark cloud, concealing earth, and sea, and sky, en- 
veloped the commingled fleets, from whence came forth 
incessant flashes and resounding peals, which rivalled 
the red lightning and the loud thunder of an elemental 
strife. From amid this sound, frightful, yet stirring to 
the human heart, and appalling to every other creature, 
came other sounds, yet more harrowing — the shout of 
defiance, the shriek of agony and the yell of despair, 
— and fish, and bird, and every other living thing fled 
precipitately from the scene, leaving man, the monarch 
of creation, to slay his fellow man, the image of his 
august Creator ! Such is battle ! and he who rushes 
into it, impelled by other than the highest motives, 
perils more than life in the encounter. It is a glorious 


privilege to fight for one's country ; but, the seaman or 
the soldier who strikes for lucre or ambition, is an un- 
worthy combatant. 

As the day advanced, the weather became tem- 
pestuous; huge clouds, swollen with rain, rose in rapid 
succession, and sweeping over, discharged themselves 
in heavy gusts. A mist of varying density, wreathed 
along the coast, is here and there disparted by a bold 
promontory, or sharp projecting rock. 

Fearful of being swept by the rapid currents upon the 
northern shore of the straits, into which we had now 
fairly entered, we hauled more to the southward, and 
soon, looming through the mist in gloomy grandeur, 
the mountains of Africa, lofty and majestic, rose upon 
the view. 

Keeping thence the mid channel, we soon passed 
Tarifa, the southern point of Europe, where the Sara- 
cens first landed under El Arif, from whom it derives 
its name. The waves were dashing wildly against its 
battlements, encircling them with a line of foam. 

Twice has this narrow strait been covered with 
Saracen flotillas. First, on their invasion of Spain, 
when they subjugated its fairest and most fertile por- 
tion ; and secondly, when, overcome by the wily Fer- 
dinand and the peerless Isabella, they fled disorderly 
from a land they had held so long, and loved so fondly. 
The Martello towers erected along the coast, attest the 
fears long entertained, and the vigilance long exercised 
to guard against invasion. 

2.30 P. M. The clouds and mist, driven before the 
freshening wind, have left us a clear atmosphere. 
Ahead, is the blue expanse of the Mediterranean, 
held by the ancients, as its name imports, to be the 
centre of the earth. On either bow, is Calpe and 


Abyla, the pillars of Hercules, and termini of two 

2.40. The strong current, and yet stronger wind, have 
propelled us so rapidly onward, that the "Rock" and 
the bay of Gibraltar are now in full view to the east 
and north. As the bay opened, the towns of St. Roque 
and Algesiras greeted us to the north and west. The 
former, directly ahead, as we steered for the anchorage, 
is situated on the summit of a high, rounded hill, sepa- 
rated from the surrounding ones by a luxuriant, cir- 
cular valley. It is the most picturesque, and needs but 
foliage to be the most beautiful town, at a distance, I 
have ever beheld. 

4 P. M. Anchored immediately abreast of the town 
of Gibraltar. 

The rock of Gibraltar, abrupt on this, its western 
side, and on the other absolutely precipitous, has a 
summit line, sharp and rugged, terminating with a 
sheer descent on its northern face, and sloping gradu- 
ally to Europa point at its south extreme. From an 
angle of the bay, this rock, 1400 feet high and three 
miles long, presents the exact appearance of a couchant 
lion ; — his fore-paws gathered beneath him, his massive, 
shaggy head towards Spain, his fretted mane bristling 
against the sky, and his long and sweeping tail resting 
upon the sea. 

Upon the debris on its western side, about one-third 
the distance from its northern end, the town is built, 
tier above tier, containing a crowded population of 
15,000 souls, in a most contracted space. The houses, 
built of stone and covered with tile, are mostly small 
and incommodious, and their fronts are coated with a 
dark wash, to lessen the glare of the sun, which, from 
meridian until it sinks beneath the mountains of Anda- 


lusia, shines full upon them. With the exception of 
the upper part of the town, where alone the suburbs 
are, the confined and narrow streets and dwellings are 
badly ventilated; hence, in the summer season, epi- 
demics are often rife and devastating. 

The entire water front of the bay is one continuous 
line of ramparts, and, from numerous apertures, the 
brazen mouths of artillery proclaim the invincible hold 
of its present possessors. It is said, that there is not 
one spot in the bay, on which at least one hundred 
cannon cannot be brought to bear. Its northern face, 
too, is excavated, and two tiers of chambers are pierced 
with embrasures, through which heavy pieces of ord- 
nance point along the neutral ground upon the Spanish 
barrier. This neutral ground, a narrow isthmus, at its 
junction with the rock, but soon spreading out into a 
flat, sandy plain, separates, by about half a mile, the 
respective jurisdictions of Great Britain and Spain. 

Just within the Spanish barrier is a small village, 
containing fifty or sixty houses, a few constructed of 
stone, but most of them of thatched straw. What a 
contrast it presents to the cleanliness, order, and air of 
comfort which pervade the fortress, so short a distance 
from it ! Ill clad, lazy men, lounging in the sun ; 
homely, dirty, dishevelled women, with yet filthier 
children, seated in the door-ways ; and hordes of impor- 
tunate beggars, who, the dogs excepted, are the only 
active inhabitants of the place, all too plainly bespeak 
an unhappy and misgoverned country. 

South-west of the barrier, on the northern margin of 
the bay, are the ruins of fort St. Philip, erected during 
the siege of Gibraltar by the combined land and naval 
forces of France and Spain. Immediately north, on 
the first ridge of a mountain chain, which becomes 


more and more lofty in the distance until it is lost in 
the Sierra Nevada, is a rounded stone or semi-column, 
upon which, it is said, the Queen of Spain took her seat 
when the batteries opened upon the town and fortress 
of Gibraltar, solemnly protesting that she would not 
rise from it until the allied banners waved in the place 
of the blood-red flag of England. Like many another 
rash and inconsiderate vow, it was necessarily broken, 
and the mortification of defeat was enhanced by the 
recollection of her folly. 

About a mile west of the barrier, a narrow Sjdly in. 
the sand, which, in the winter, is partly filled with 
water, and in the summer perfectly dry, indicates the 
bed of the river Mayorgo, on the banks of which the 
populous city of Carteia once stood. Between these 
banks, how many a proud Eoman and Carthaginian 
galley has passed, as the place fell alternately into the 
possession of either power ! Of the thousands who 
inhabited that city, — of the houses they dwelt in, and 
the walls, towers, and citadel which encircled and 
defended them, not a single vestige now remains. How 
transitory and fleeting is the life of man ! In the midst 
of terrestrial cares, he is swept from existence, and the 
memory of the most favoured is scarce treasured beyond 
the first anniversary of his fall. Alas ! " What sha- 
dows we are, and what shadows we pursue !" 

We here took observations, to ascertain the rate of 
our chronometers, and purchased some chemical tests 
and an herbarium, for the Expedition. Having only 
stopped at Gibraltar for some mathematical instru- 
ments, ordered from London, we were in hourly expec- 
tation of their arrival, when an untoward event com- 
pelled us to sail without them. One of the officers 
had been violently ill for some days, and the skill of 
the surgeon was baffled to detect the character of the 


disease, when, on the morning of the fifth day, it deve- 
loped unequivocal symptoms of the small-pox. My first 
thought was to seek a place, to which those who might 
be attacked could he removed as soon as taken, and 
thereby, as much as possible, retard the dissemination 
of the pestilence among the crew. My next Considera- 
tion was to protect the crowded town and garrison, 
where we had been so hospitably received. I therefore 
immediately interdicted all communication with the 
shore, and, as soon as the weather would permit, sailed 
for Port Mahon, where the flag-ship was, and where 
there are extensive hospitals. The sick man knew, 
however, that before it could be reached, he must pass 
the ordeal. His feelings can be better imagined than 
described. Prostrate with a disease as malignant as it 
is loathsome ; with a body inflamed and swollen, and 
a mind so racked with fever, that reason, from time to 
time, fairly tottered on her throne, he must naturally 
have longed to exchange his hard and narrow berth, 
and the stifling atmosphere of a ship, soon to be tossed 
about, the sport of the elements, for a softer and more 
spacious couch, a more airy apartment, and, above all, 
the quiet and the better attendance of the shore. 

After a boisterous passage of eight days, we reached 
Port Mahon, where the invalid was hoisted out of the 
ship, and taken in his bed to the Lazaretto, or Lazar 
House, the most cheerless, bleak, and dreary quarters 
ever occupied for such a purpose. The few dismal 
weeks he spent there, unable to read and incapable of 
writing, will, doubtless, be long remembered by him. 

Fortunately, there was but one additional case ; and 
the ship, by repeated fumigations, and various modes 
of ventilation, was finally purged of the foul and fester- 
ing disease. 


Mahon, so named from Mago, the father of Hannibal, 
is the chief town of the island of Minorca. It is beau- 
tifully situated at the north-west extremity of one of 
the most secure and spacious harbours in the world. 
This port, since the first introduction of a U. S. naval 
force in the Mediterranean, subsequent to the war with 
the freebooters of Barbary, has, with few exceptions, 
been the winter rendezvous of our squadrons stationed 
in that sea. Why it should be so, with the security 
of the anchorage its only recommendation, it is difficult 
to conceive. Other places there are, sufficiently secure, 
less isolated in their position, less tempestuous in their 
winter climate, abounding with classical associations 
and teeming with inducements to scientific research, 
far superior to Port Mahon. A place famed for the 
facilities it presents for acquiring, and the cheapness 
of indulging low and vicious habits: — famed for the 
circumstance that the senior officers, and all who can 
be spared from watch, abandon their ships and reside 
for months on shore ; while many of the young and 
the inexperienced, and some of their superiors, spend 
much of their time and all their money in the haunts 
of the dissipated and the vile. I do not mean to reflect 
upon the respectable part of the population of Mahon, 
for there is not a more kind-hearted or gentle people 
in the world. But ignorance of the language compels 
most of our officers to keep aloof from a society, which, 
if it do not increase the refinement of their manners, 
should at least protect them from moral degradation. 

Apart from all moral considerations, there are politi- 
cal ones why Port Mahon should not be the winter 
rendezvous of our squadron in the Mediterranean. 

Within twelve years, difficulties were once antici- 
pated with France, and twice with England ; — with 


the former power on the subject of indemnity, and 
with the latter on the questions of the north-eastern 
boundary and the disputed claim to Oregon. On these 
occasions, our depot was, and our squadrons mostly 
were, at this port, in a small island, two hundred miles 
distant from Toulon, the nearest point on the main 
land, and equi-distant from Gibraltar and Malta — all 
three strongholds of probable enemies. Its isolated 
position debars intelligence from the continent more 
frequently than once a month, and the first indication 
of hostilities might have been the summons of a hostile 

It is true that our commanders have received direc- 
tions not to winter at Mahon, but orders are fruitless 
while commanders of squadrons claim the privilege 
of exercising their own judgment without regard to the 
instructions of the authorities at home. We found 
the flag-ship here, and here it is believed that the 
squadron will winter. 

The islands of Minorca and Majorca, with the small 
one of Ivica, closely contiguous, form the Balearic isles, 
from whence the Carthaginians and the Romans, as 
they successively conquered it, procured their Baleares 
or slingers. It is said, that in Mahon Hannibal took 
the well-known oath of vengeance against the unrelent- 
ing foe of his country. 

The soil is thin, yet exceedingly productive ; but so 
great are the trammels, alike on agriculture, commerce, 
and every branch of domestic manufacture, that the 
people are deplorably impoverished. Numerous beg- 
gars, and the yet more painful sight of abject poverty 
peeping from beneath the ragged skirts of pride, every- 
where greet the eye. Every day presents scenes cal- 


culated to make the philosopher moralize and the 
Christian weep. Alas ! poor Spain ! 

Friday, Jan. 28. Lieutenant Dale and myself visited 
the talayots of Trepuco and Talatli, two Celtic ruins, 
with mounds and musse or altars. The first is in the 
midst of a circular fort with five bastions, behind 
which, tradition says, the inhabitants of the island de- 
fended themselves against the Moors. We thought the 
circumvallations more modern than the mound, or the 
musae or altars. 

These ruins, and others on the island, are either 
monumental tombs or altars of sacrifice, on which 
human victims were most probably immolated. The 
Druids, or priests of the Celts, derived their religion, 
perhaps, from the Egyptians. How much labour and 
ingenuity that ancient people evinced in quarrying, 
transporting and elevating such enormous blocks ! The 
exact manner in which they are placed with regard to 
the cardinal points, and being so accurately poised as to 
stand for many centuries, exhibit, also, no inconsiderable 
knowledge of geometry. Scarce a vestige remains of 
the nations that have subsequently possessed this 
island, while here stand these huge old stones and 
enormous piles, the mute, but expressive memorials of 
the most ancient people of all ! Mr. Dale has taken 
exact sketches of the mound of Trepuco and the musa 
of Talatli. 

The Balearic isles, believed to have been settled by 
the Phoenicians, if not by the Celts long before them, 
have fallen successively under the yoke of the Cartha- 
ginians, the Komans, the Goths, the Saracens, the 
English and the Spaniards, — under the latter three 



Friday, Feb. 4th. At 10 P. M. left the harbour of 
Mahon with a light but favourable wind. Our stay had 
been so protracted that we gladly hailed the familiar 
sight of a boundless horizon before us. With me, impa- 
tience to reach our destination had increased with each 
hour's delay, and my health was impaired by a most irri- 
table state of mind. When will we learn to submit, with- 
out murmuring, to what cannot be remedied? When 
will we firmly believe, and prove our faith by practice, 
that, apart from the consequences of crime, 

" Whatever is, is right ;" 
and that there is a Providence which 

u Shapes our ends, 
Rough hew them as we may." 

The breeze freshened as the night wore on, and we 
wended joyfully on our way, each congratulating the 
other on the prospect of a speedy disembarcation. The 
next day we passed south of Sardinia ; and the morning 
after made the Island of Maritimo, and beyond it could 
see the blue outlines of Sicily. The day was at first clear 
and beautiful, but, with the ascending sun, a dim vapour 
spread along the sky, and, wafted by the wind, like a 
misty shroud, enveloped the larger island. To the eye, 
all was serene and peaceful, but beneath that veil the 
myrmidons of power and the assertors of human rights 
were engaged in deadly conflict. The Sicilian revolution 
had begun. Its end, who could foresee ? 

c (33) 

34 MALTA. 

P. M. Passed the island of Pantellaria, the Botany Bay 
of Naples and Sicily, and accounted by some to be the 
Isle of Calypso. # 

To avoid danger in the shape of rocks and shoals at 
sea, it is ever best to shape the course directly for them, 
for then all are vigilant. We stood, therefore, directly 
for the shoal which marks the spot where, some years 
since, a volcanic island suddenly rose from the -sea, and 
shortly after disappeared. We saw nothing of it. 

During the night we shortened sail, but, with the fresh 
wind blowing, it was difficult to check the ship in her 
headlong velocity. At early daylight, the Islands of 
Gozo (the true Calypso) and of Malta were directly before 
us. To the eye they presented the barren aspect of rugged 
brown rocks, their surfaces unrelieved by tree or verdure ; 
and the houses, built of the same material, and covered 
with tile, rather added to, than varied, the tiresome uni- 
formity of the scene. 

With a fresh and favourable wind, we sailed along the 
abrupt and precipitous shores, and came to anchor in the 
famous port of Valetta. Three promontories, their sum- 
mits fretted with artillery, frown down upon the triune 
harbour. Along the city walls, from Castle Ovo to the 
extreme point on the right, are lines of fortifications, 
relieved here and there by some towering Saracenic 
structure, presenting, in graceful contrast, 

" The Moorish window and the massive wall." 

Here, too, has Napoleon been ! From Moscow to Cairo, 
where has he not ? 

We rowed around in our boat, and in the upper harbour 
saw a number of towering three-deckers and heavy line- 
of-battle ships moored in formidable array. One of the 
latter, some hours afterwards, passed us, outward bound ; 
and by the side of our little ship she looked, indeed, like 


a huge leviathan. She sailed by "majestically slow;" 
her hull, her armament, her spars and sails, presenting a 
perfect combination of graceful symmetry and gigantic 
strength. The deepest silence prevailed, broken only by 
the ripple of the water beneath her bows, and the occa- 
sional voice of him who moved 

" The monarch of her peopled deck." 

But, despotic or humane, he had the true urbanity of a 
gentleman. As with the gathering wind his ship swept 
by, he caught sight of our pennant and descried our uni- 
form, when, instantly crossing the deck, he courteously 
and gracefully saluted us. If ever the republican dogs of 
war are to be again let loose, Heaven grant that it may 
be against a foe so worthy of a grapple ! 

As we were not admitted to pratique, we saw nothing 
more of Malta, but left it at sunset. Having once before 
been there, I bear in vivid remembrance her many scenes 
teeming with interest. The bay and the cave, spots con- 
secrated by the shipwreck and the miraculous preserva- 
tion of the great Apostle of the Gentiles : her armory, 
with its shields and swords 

"Cobwebbed and rusty :" 

Her exquisite gardens, and that 

" Vaulted roof, impervious to the bomb, 
The votive tablet and the victor's tomb." 

Saturday, Feb. 12. At daylight, made the Island of 
Cerigo, the ancient Cytherea, the favourite resort of the 
Goddess of Love and Beauty, and the birth-place of Helen, 
the frail heroine of the Trojan war. 

Passing under easy sail, between Cerigo and Ovo, 
leaving Candia (ancient Crete) to the south, we entered 
the blue Egean, and had the group of the Cyclades before 
us as we turned to the north. In the course of the day 
we saw Milo, famed for its spacious harbour and its excel- 


lent wine ; Paros for its marble quarries, and Anti-Paros 
for its celebrated grotto, deemed one of the wonders of 
the world. 

Sailing through the Sporadic group, we passed the 
Gulf of Athens, and saw Cape Colonna, (ancient promon- 
tory of Misenum,) where Plato taught, and where are the 
ruins of a temple of Minerva. 

Greece ! poetic Greece ! but that my soul is engrossed 
by one pervading thought, how I would love to visit thy 
shores ! How have I loved to follow the muse in this 
favoured land ! How delighted to pursue the arts, and 
trace the history of this wonderful people ! How ad- 
mired the chaste philosophy of Greece, springing with 
Corinthian beauty into life, amid the storms of sedition, 
and bending, like the brilliant Iris, her beautiful bow in 
the clouds which had overshadowed her sleeping oracles ! 
The bold and inquisitive spirit of Grecian philosophy 
could not be fettered by a loose and voluptuous religion, 
however graceful in its structure and poetical in its con- 
ceptions. Grecian philosophy, reflecting the early rays 
of revelation, more powerful than the Titans, scaled the 
pagan Heaven, and overthrew its multitude of gods. 

Did time permit, how I would love to look upon the 
Piraeus and the Acropolis ! Upon the place where 
Socrates, in the dispensation of a wise Providence, was 
permitted to shake the pillars of Olympus, and where the 
Apostle of Truth, in the midst of crumbling shrines and 
silenced deities, proclaimed to the Athenians the Unknown 
God, whom, with divided glory, they had so long wor- 
shipped in vain. 

Continuing our route through the Sporades, between 
Ipsari and Scio, of sad celebrity, we rounded, on the 
morning of the 15th, the promontory of Bouroun, and 
entered the Gulf of Smyrna. 

P. M. By a sudden transition from the fresh head-wind 


without, we were now floating upon the placid bosom of 
a beautiful bay, with our wing-like sails spread to a light 
and favouring breeze. 

Far beyond the shore, might be seen the snowy crest of 
the Mesian Olympus. We passed in sight of the first 
Turkish town, with its little cubes of flat-roofed houses, 
and its groves and trees, so refreshing to the eye after 
the Grecian isles, all brown and barren. It is the ancient 

The bay was dotted with the numerous sails of 
feluccas, outward and inward bound. As w^e passed, the 
Bay of Vourla opened on our right, — and on the left, 
were some remarkable green hills, — and beyond them, 
a long, very long, low track, with a barely visible assem- 
blage of white dots beyond. It was Ismir ! Infidel Ismir ! 
Christian Smyrna ! The setting sun empurpled the neigh- 
bouring mountains, gilding here and shadowing there, in 
one soft yet glorious hue, lending a characteristic enchant- 
ment to our first view of an Oriental city. 

The wind failing, we anchored about eight miles from 
Smyrna, near Agamemnon's wells. Abreast, was fort 
Sanjak Salassi, with its little turrets and big port-holes, 
even with the ground, whence protruded the cavernous 
throats of heavy guns, entirely disproportioned to the 
scale of the fortifications. 

Our eyes were here refreshed with the sight of rich 
olive-groves; Turkish villages embowered among trees, 
many of the latter covered with blossoms, interspersed 
with the melancholy cypress (the vegetable obelisk), and 
backed by a range of verdant mountains beyond. 

Wednesday, Feb. 16. The scene which this morning 
presented to our admiring eyes, was one of surpassing 
loveliness. To the north and west was a sheet of placid 
water, with cloud-capped mountains in the distance. 
Before us was the city, overshadowed by a lofty peak, 


the snow-crowned summit of which glittered in the rays 
of the rising sun. On an abrupt platform, immediately 
beneath it, were the embattled towers of a once formidable 
castle ; from thence, on a descending slope, which spread 
its base until it reached the water, the houses were 
thickly clustered ; while here and there a swelling dome, 
and lofty, pyramidal spire, indicated a mosque, with its 
attendant minaret. 

But on the right was the most exquisite feature. A 
narrow, but most luxuriant valley skirted the base of a 
range of mountains to the south, and, from the lofty bar- 
ricade to the very verge of the bay, presented one ena- 
melled mead of verdure and bloom. The grass and cereal 
grains had all the vivid tints of early spring, while the 
white and the pink blossoms of the nectarine and the 
almond were interspersed with the graver hue of the 
dark and abounding olive. While enjoying the scene, 
we heard the tinkling of bells, and looking to the left, 
beheld a caravan of camels rounding a distant hill. In a 
long line, one after the other, slowly, sedately, with mea- 
sured strides, they passed along the road towards the 
west. Each one was laden with heavy packages, except 
two, which had women and children perched high upon 
their uneven backs. 

11 A. M. Sail up and anchor off the city of Smyrna. 

Thursday, Feb. 17. With the first dawn of day we 
were amused watching the deck of an Austrian steamer, 
which arrived, during the night, from Constantinople. 

With the sun, up rose Turks, Greeks, and Armenians, 
shaking and settling themselves in their strange and gor- 
geous costumes. There were magnificent Turks with 
blessed beards, clothed in multitudinous garments, with a 
whole armory of pistols and daggers stuck in their sashes. 
One old fellow was particularly striking, in a drab- 
coloured capote and a white beard, smoking his chi- 


bouque in dignified abstraction from the world around 
him. There were two or three Persians, with black 
beards of extraordinary unction, and high, black, conical 
caps. There was one, a perfect magician, with beard 
blacker than a raven's plume, and a lofty brow, pale as 
alabaster. There were Turkish officers and soldiers, 
Greeks and Armenians, all with the red tarbouch ; and 
lastly, a sailor-looking man, with his hands independently 
thrust into his pea-jacket pockets. 

They all passed near us on their way from the steamer 
to the shore. Among them were several women, with 
ugly, white muslin drawn over their faces, — closely 
veiled. One of the latter we were particularly anxious 
to see, as she accompanied a rich old Turk with a perfect 
boat-load of goods and chattels. As she passed, one hand 
was exposed from beneath the folds of the muslin. Do 
the Turkish ladies wear black gloves ? Credat Judaeas 
Apella ! Let the circumcised Jew believe it ! Can a 
Christian credit that show as a Nubian, of the deepest 
Cimmerian tint ? 

We landed and passed into the streets, the narrow, 
winding ways of Smyrna. How strange everything 
seems ! After all one has fancied of an eastern city, how 
different is the reality ! The streets are very narrow 
and dark, and filled with a motley and, in general, a 
dirty population — passing to and fro, or sitting in their 
stalls, for they deserve no better name. Greeks, Arme- 
nians, and Jews, seem to prevail. 

But the most striking, living feature of the east is the 
long strings of camels, huge, meek-looking beasts, with 
long necks and small projecting heads, tramping along 
under enormous loads, with their great pulpy, India- 
rubber splay feet, threatening to bear down everything 
in their onward march. Again and again we were com- 
pelled to slip into the open stalls to avoid being crushed. 


At length we adopted the precaution of each one keeping 
under the lee, as sailors term it, of a heavily laden camel, 
for it was not only necessary to avoid the camels and 
little donkeys, but also dirty, ragged, staggering, over- 
laden porters, whose touch threatened not only to com- 
municate the plague, but also whole detachments of the 
insect tribes of Egypt. 

We proposed entering a mosque, but as we were required 
to take off our boots, and the pavement was damp and 
dirty, we deferred the gratification of our curiosity until 
we had visited Constantinople. 

We came to the same resolution with respect to a bath, 
the one we looked into being repulsive from its filth and 
slovenliness, and far too public for our ideas of propriety. 
Our consul, Mr. Offley, an honour to his name and to the 
position he fills, told us that he once took a Turkish 
bath, but never repeated the operation. 

The city of Smyrna, so inviting in its exterior, is 
crowded, dirty, and unprepossessing within. The houses, 
excepting those on the Marina, or Water front, rarely 
exceed one story in height, and are dingy and mean ; and 
the very mosques, so imposing from without, fall far short 
of the conceptions of the visitant. 

The Smyrniotes have fair complexions, much fairer, 
we think, than the people of the Morea, and very much 
more so than the Kurds, Armenians, Syrians, and Jews. 

The River Meles, sacred to Homer, in winter a foaming 
torrent, but in summer scarce a flowing stream, runs in 
a northerly direction, along the eastern limits of the city. 
On the line of travel to the East, it is spanned by the 
caravan bridge, the great halting-place of returning and 
departing caravans. As we saw it, the river was a shal- 
low stream, not half filling the space between the widely 
separated banks. Kneeling on the sands, on each side 
of the river, above and below the bridge, were many hun- 


dreds of camels, with their heavy packs beside them. It 
was the hour of feeding, and, arranged with their heads 
in the centres of circles, of which their tails formed the 
peripheries, without noise, they ate the dry straw which 
was placed before them. While we looked on, the hour 
elapsed, and the burdens were replaced on the backs of 
the patient animals. Although constituting a number of 
separate caravans, they were all, evidently, subject to the 
same regulations. At a given signal, they slowly raised 
first one foot and then another from beneath them, and 
then, with a peculiar cry, plaintive yet discordant, jerked 
themselves, as it were, to an erect position. The turbaned 
drivers, the uncouth, patient camels, and the tinkling 
bells, formed a scene truly Asiatic. 

Turning from the throng of living beings, we passed 
immediately through an extensive grove of dark, funereal 
cypress, every interval between the tall, symmetrical trees 
being covered with Turkish tomb-stones. These are 
mostly two erect slabs of marble, one at the head and the 
other at the foot of each grave, their flat surfaces turned 
towards the highway and covered with Turkish or Arabic 
inscriptions, usually in gilt letters, recounting the name 
and character of the deceased. The head-stones of the 
males have invariably a carved turban, coloured red or 
green, according to the family of the deceased. On the 
head-stones of the females, carved rose-branches are gene- 
rally seen. 

Some of the old head-stones had carved on them the 
implements of the trades pursued in life by the tenants 
beneath. The hammer and the saw denoted the car- 
penter ; the last, the shoemaker ; the trowel, the mason, 
and the shears, the tailor. We were told, that in the 
vicinity of Constantinople there are some with the gal- 
lows carved on them, indicating that those beneath had, 

by that instrument, met their doom. It is further said, 
4 * 


that in the times of Turkish despotism, a man's family 
deemed it a sure and convincing proof of the wealth or 
talent of their ancestor, if he had been considered of 
sufficient importance to be executed. 

The bowstring and the scimetar have now superseded 
the ignominious gallows. The day will come, and is 
coming, when the public mind in every enlightened com- 
munity will shrink with horror from the infliction of the 
punishment of death. But, until the minds of men are 
more enlightened, and their conduct influenced more by 
holy aspirations than base, ignoble fears, there necessarily 
must be an inflexibly restraining power. 

How beautiful is the moral of the eastern allegory 
in relation to punishment ! The Brahmins represent 
Punishment as the son of the Deity, and the security 
of the four orders of the state. He rules with a sceptre 
of iron, and from the beasts of the field to the children 
of men, the order can never be violated with impunity. 
He is the perfection of justice. All classes would become 
corrupt ; all barriers would be overthrown, and confusion 
would prevail upon the face of the earth, if punishment 
either ceased to be inflicted or were inflicted unjustly. 
But, while the Genius of Punishment, with his dark 
countenance and fiery eye, presses forward to extirpate 
crime, the people are secure if justice be impartial. 

Crime, like a leprous cancer, spreads from individuals 
to nations. It should be the duty, therefore, of a Chris- 
tian to oppose everything which tends to corrupt morals 
and promote licentiousness. History, with her grave 
and solemn countenance, constantly admonishes us, that, 
whatever may have been the immediate cause of national 
calamities, licentiousness of morals has always preceded 
and precipitated the catastrophe. The political revolu- 
tions which have most afflicted mankind were introduced 
by an era of national profligacy. Charles was the natural 


precursor of Cromwell, and Cromwell the fit successor of 
Charles. The libidinous cavalier was aptly followed by 
the stern and formal Puritan. The morals, the litera- 
ture, the religion of the English nation had become 
utterly depraved, and the interposition of the Genius of 
Punishment, the Avenger of crime, the security of the 
four orders of government, became necessary, to chastise 
and to correct. The sufferings of the nation were terrific, 
but its crimes had been enormous. 

But, as if to teach mankind a lesson which tradition 
could never forget, the crimes of the French people were 
permitted to accumulate until Paris rivalled Sodom in 
iniquity : and, perhaps, the sudden and consuming wrath 
which fell upon the city of the plain, was mercy compared 
with the protracted sufferings of this abandoned people. 
If the world shuddered at the enormity of their crimes, 
nations grew pale at the intensity of their sufferings. 
The Avenger of crime again exacted the full measure of 

Alas ! man, whether in his individual or social capa- 
city, is a frail and rebellious creature, and the sternest 
sanctions of the law have, in all ages, been required for 
the maintenance of peace and order. But, all the force 
of the law has, under every frame of government, been 
found insufficient to repress the spirit of insubordination. 
The strong impulse of the passions, and the hope of im- 
punity, still impel daring and wicked men to commit the 
most detestable and atrocious crimes. 

The Genius of Punishment, therefore, with his dark 
countenance and fiery eye, must yet awhile longer fre- 
quent the haunts of the children of men. These reflec- 
tions have been indulged, in order to strengthen the mind 
to contemplate a dire necessity, and to prepare it for the 
recital of a shocking circumstance attendant on a legal 
execution here. 


A criminal was recently condemned to death, and the 
mode adjudged was decapitation. He was led forth into 
one of the public streets, and duly prepared. The clumsy 
executioner, unable to. strike off the head with repeated 
blows, deliberately, with a saw, severed the hacked and 
disfigured head from the convulsively writhing trunk. 

The heart sickens at the recital. It is painful to hear, 
— most painful, on the best authority, to narrate an inci- 
dent so harrowing. Were I to consult my inclinations, 
my pen should, like the sun-dial, note " those hours only 
which are serene." But, if I speak at all, it is my duty 
to describe things exactly as I find them. 

Such an event as the one above narrated would have 
shocked all England, even when her penal laws, like 
those of Draco, were written in blood ; and an unhappy 
mother, starving herself, was hung for stealing a loaf of 
bread, wherewith to feed her starving child. 

Even with such a fact before us, it is difficult to say 
whether the Ottoman government is most a despotic or a 
patriarchal one. Certain it is, that if the late barbarous 
execution were made known to him, the humane heart 
of the Sultan would shrink with horror, as much as that 
of any Christian. Unhappily, he is kept in most pro- 
found ignorance, and every thing calculated to give him 
pain, or excite his mind to inquiry, is sedulously excluded. 
Such is the account given by intelligent Franks, long 
resident in his dominions. 

The country around Smyrna is highly cultivated, and 
the benignant soil and genial climate amply repay the 
toil of the husbandman. Less productive of the cereal 
grains, its vintage and its crops of fruit are most superior 
and abundant. Except the mountain sides, which are 
sparsely covered with brushwood, the frequent groves of 
cypress, each denoting a burial-place, and the clusters of 
orange trees around the villas of the wealthy, the surface 


of the country is thickly dotted with the olive and the 
almond, the mulberry and the fig-tree. Smyrna is parti- 
cularly celebrated for an exquisitely flavoured and seed- 
less grape, and for the superior quality of its figs. 

It is also one of the claimants for the birth-place of 
Homer, the blind old bard, whose fame was purely posthu- 
mous ! The Grecian virgins scattered garlands through- 
out the seven islands of Greece, upon the turf, beneath 
which were supposed to lie the remains of Mm, who wan- 
dered in penury and obscurity through life, or only sang 
passages of his divine poem at the festive board of his 
contemporaries. We were shown his cave — but I will no 
longer trust myself to speak of him, whom 

U I feel, but want the power to paint." 

We also visited Diana's bath, whence Acteon's hounds, 
like many a human ingrate after them, pursued and tore 
the hand that had caressed them. 

Meeting with an acquaintance of one of the party, he 
invited us to his country-seat at Bournabat, which is the 
summer resort of the Franks, and a great place of attrac- 
tion without the walls of Smyrna. 

Mounted upon diminutive donkeys with enormous ears, 
in the course of the ride everybody's stirrups broke away, 
and everybody's pack-saddle turned so easily, that each 
one found it difficult to preserve his seat. Steering with 
a halter, our only bridle, we scoured along the road and 
soon entered upon a plain covered with rich plantations 
of olives and figs, with many nectarine and almond trees 
in full bloom, and villas, here and there, embowered in 
orange groves, — the flatness of the landscape relieved by 
clustering spires of the dark cypress, their tall stems ex- 
panding high in air, in graceful and luxuriant foliage. 

We alighted before an elegant villa, and entering a 
porte-cochere, passed along an avenue bordered with fra- 


grant shrubs and a variety of flowers, with orange-groves 
on each side, and up a lofty flight of steps into the main 
building, which was beautifully furnished in the European 
style. After a while, we were conducted through the 
garden, upon walks of variegated pebbles, set in diamond 
figures. We were thence led to a small kiosk, or summer- 
house, where pipes were brought by female servants of 
decided Grecian features. A queen-like old lady, dressed 
in a blue silk sack, trimmed with rich fur, and wearing 
upon her head a braided turban interwreathed with 
natural flowers and silver ornaments, was introduced to 
us by our kind entertainer as his mother. Presently, a 
silver salver was brought, with small dishes of the same 
material upon it, containing conserves of various kinds. 
Taking it from the servant, the superb old lady handed it 
to each of us in turn, not omitting her son. This is one 
of the customs of the East which so peculiarly differ from 
our own. Here man is indeed the sole monarch of crea- 
tion ; but his degradation of the female sex recoils fear- 
fully upon himself. 

After wandering about beneath the shade of the orange 
and the cypress, admiring the night-blooming cereus, and 
inhaling the fragrance of the rose and the jasmine, and 
examining the old-time Persian water-wheel and artificial 
mode of irrigation, we entered a saloon where an oriental 
collation of fruits and cream had been prepared for us. 
Although the month of February, the climate was that 
of summer. 

Eeturning, we trotted merrily along the rich alluvial 
plain, carpeted with the young grain just springing from 
the earth. Near Smyrna, we observed a fig-tree thickly 
hung with shreds of cloth, of every hue and texture. It 
is a common practice among ignorant Muslims, who be- 
lieve that a piece of a sick person's garment suspended 


from a tree near the tomb of a Santon or Mahommedan 
saint, will promote the recovery of the wearer. 

Emerging from the gloom of a dense cypress grove, 
which overshadows thousands of Muslim tombstones, we 
came upon the caravan bridge, which spans the Meles 
with its single arch. It was the same we had before seen, 
but at a different hour and under a different aspect. On 
the banks, below the bridge, were hundreds of camels re- 
posing for the night. The setting sun shone upon the 
red and blue and yellow saddle-cloths, while the pictu- 
resque costumes of the Mukris or camel-drivers, grouped 
listlessly about, relieved the dun colour of the caravan 
with a pleasing effect. It was a rich, golden, oriental 
sunset, worthy of the pencil of a Claude Lorraine. 

Returning through the city, the same strange scenes 
presented themselves as on our first arrival. The variety 
of costume ; the filthy, unpaved lanes for streets, and 
the necessity of giving way before the onward tramp of a 
line of loaded camels or a mud-bespattering donkey. We 
were much assisted, however, by the consuls' janissary, 
who did his best to clear the way before us. Consuls and 
other foreign officials in Turkey are allowed, as guards, a 
certain number of janissaries or kavashes, recognized and 
appointed for that purpose by the Turkish government. 
This janissary is always heavily armed, and possessing 
much authority, is very cavalier in his treatment of the 
common people. He is ever a Turk, and with his long, 
silver-mounted baton, preceding the consul or his guests, 
is the very picture of solemn self-sufficiency. 



Friday, Feb. 18. At 5, P. M., embarked in the Aus- 
trian steamer " Prince Metternich," for Constantinople. 
When fairly under way, her decks presented as motley 
an assemblage as I ever beheld. Abaft, on the larboard 
side, near the helmsman, were two groups of females, 
consisting of five Asiatics and two Africans. All, mis- 
tresses and slaves (for they bore that relation to each 
other), had the upper and the lower parts of their faces 
concealed by the " yashmak," a thin, white muslin veil, 
so arranged as to leave only the eyes and the upper part 
of the nose exposed to view. Their bodies were en- 
veloped in the " ferejeh," a narrow-skirted cloak, of a thin 
worsted material, with a cape extending down behind, the 
full length and breadth of the body ; five of them were 
yellow, and two a dingy purple, — the colour irrespective 
of mistress or slave. 

One of the groups consisted of an Armenian family, and 
on this occasion their dress, in no particular, varied from 
that of the Turks. It is said, however, that in the capital 
the Turkish female may be distinguished by the red or 
yellow ferejeh, and the invariable yellow boot or slipper. 
In this group there was little distinction in the quality 
of dress, and there seemed to be very little reserve in the 
demeanour of the whites towards the blacks. Certainly 
the latter conceal their faces as studiously as their mis- 
tresses. They were all seated upon rugs, placed on boards 
elevated a few inches above the deck, and were busied 



making preparations to pass the night in the positions 
they occupied. 

In advance of them, extending to the break of the 
quarter-deck, were various groups of the most respectable 
class of male passengers ; and beyond them, on both sides 
of the deck, for two-thirds the length of the ship, was 
clustered a heterogeneous assemblage of lower grade, con- 
sisting, like that on the quarter-deck, of Turks, Greeks, 
Armenians, Jews, and Syrians. Many wore the turban 
either white or variously coloured, except the despised 
Jew, whose brows were enveloped in sable. But most of 
them had on the crimson tarbouch, with a long blue or 
black silken tassel pendent from the crown. Their under- 
dress was wholly concealed by the universal "Grego," a 
long, heavy, brown woollen coat, with a hood, and orna- 
mented with scarlet cord and facings. 

With their feet drawn beneath them, they were squatted, 
like tailors (those who have them) , upon rugs, with their 
baggage piled around them, and each with the stem of a 
chibouque, or a narghile, in his mouth. 

There is no bar for the sale of intoxicating liquors on 
board. All is orderly and quiet, and there is neither 
quarrelling nor loud discussion. In sobriety, at least, the 
Turk is a fit model for imitation. 

We swept with great rapidity up the beautiful Gulf of 
Smyrna, and early in the night entered the channel of 
Mitylene, between the Island of Mitylene (the ancient 
Lesbos) and the main. This large and fertile island, 
placed at the mouth of the Adramatic Gulf, derived its 
ancient name from one of its kings, who reigned before 
the Deucalion flood. It is the birth-place of Sappho, 
and was considered by the ancients the seventh in the 
Egean Sea. First governed by its own kings, and then 
by a democracy, it has been subject to the Persians, the 
5 D 


Athenians, the Macedonians, the Komans, the Venetians, 
and the Turks. 

11 P. M. Enveloped in their Gregos, their cloaks and 
various coverings, the deck passengers, screened from the 
sight, sleep profoundly; and, from sheer weariness, we 
retired below to enjoy " the balmy blessings of the night." 

Feb. 19. This morning, the deck presented a singular 
scene. Its whole surface was one uninterrupted range 
of tumuli, beneath each one of which reposed a human 
being. Not having been sheltered by awnings, their 
clothing, saturated by the rain which had fallen during 
the night, was reeking from animal heat, and rising and 
falling with the light or heavy breathing of the sleepers 

" The low hung vapours, motionless and still, 
Rest on the summit of each tiny hill." 

As the day dawned they severally arose, and the first act 
of each one was to throw himself on his knees, with his 
face, as he supposed, towards the Kebla of Mecca (some 
sadly erring in the quarter of the compass), and with 
many prostrations, which from time to time were repeated, 
commenced the morning prayer, a series of recitations 
from the Koran. Some stuck their daggers into the deck, 
a short space before them, which was respected as sacred 
by those who, having finished their devotions, wandered 
about the ship. The most of them were seemingly ab- 
stracted, but it was evident that some were satisfactorily 
conscious of being observed. 

One thing may be said of the benighted Turk r he is 
never ashamed of his religion. No human respect in- 
fluences him to shrink from an open avowal of his wor- 
ship ; and if outward observance be indicative of inward 
piety, the Turk is the most devout of human beings. 
His first act, when he awakes in the morning, is prayer ; 
at three other stated intervals during the day, it is 


repeated ; and with the descending sun, for the fifth time, 
he prostrates himself in prayer. 

Every public and private deed of record begins with 
" Bismillah," " in the name of Him ;" and the salute of a 
Turk, when he meets a friend, is neither the " How are 
you?" "How d'ye do?" "How dye find yourself?" 
"How d'ye carry yourself?" and "How d'ye stand?" of 
the American, the Englishman, the German, the French- 
man, the Italian, and the Spaniard, — but simply "God 
preserve you !" 

Immediately after their devotions, they resorted to 
their inseparable chibouque ; but, as it is difficult to 

"A Turk, with beads in hand and pipe in mouth, 
Extremely taken with his own religion," 

we turned to the east, and beheld Mount Ida, capped 
with snow, and its tributary range, which, in a graceful 
sweep, embraces the valleys of the Thymbrek and the 
Mendere, the Simois and the Scamander of the Iliad. A 
short distance from Eski Stambhol, are the ruins of Alex- 
andria Troas, screened from the view by a thick growth 
of stunted trees and shrubbery. At Lesbos and here, St. 
Paul has been.* On the left, bearing west, is the Isle of 
Tenedos, in one of the ports of which the Greeks con- 
cealed their fleet when they pretended to have abandoned 
the siege of Troy. Tenedos, more frequently even than 
Lesbos, has fallen a prey to the conqueror. 

As we advanced to the north, with the coast of Phrygia 
on the right, we soon beheld that of Thrace in Europe 
before us, with the islands of Lemnos and Imbros to sea- 
ward. Immediately on the Phrygian shore, facing the 
broad expanse of the Mediterranean, are two conspicuous 

* It was here that, in a vision, St. Paul was called to Macedonia — here 
he restored the dead to life — and here left his cloak, parchments, and 
books. — Acts, xvi. 9; xx. 9 and 10. 2 Tim. iv. 13. 


tumuli, pointed out by tradition as the tombs of Achilles 
and Patroclus. The requiem of the heroic friends is sung 
by the surging waves, which break against the abrupt and 
precipitous shore. 

To the north-east, on the extremity of the Phrygian 
shore, is the Sigsean Promontory, crowned with a castle, 
and disfigured with a town. On the opposite, or Thracian 
shore, with the Dardanelles between, is Cape Helles, with 
a corresponding fortress, and its unprepossessing town 
attendant. Near the European cape, was fought the 
great naval battle so fatal to the Athenians. 

Turning to the east, we rounded Cape Janissary (the 
Sigaean Promontory), and entering the strait, saw the sup- 
posed bed of the Scamander, between which and the pro- 
montory, the Grecian fleet was hauled up, and the Gre- 
cian hosts encamped. A little beyond, is another barrow, 
said to be that of Hecuba ; yet further is the Khsetian pro- 
montory, on which also is a mound, called the tomb of 

The plain of Troy, save in its associations, presents 
nothing to the eye until it rests in the distance, 

" Where old Olympus shrouds 
His hundred heads in Heaven, and props the clouds ;" 

and the imagination, fixing upon the spot where 

" Silver Simois and Scamander join," 

fills the circumjacent plain with the lofty towers of 
"wide extended Troy," the beleaguring hosts and their 
dismantled ships. Passing a point on the left, designated 
as the first in Europe whereon was raised the banner of 
the Saracen, we came to that part of the strait whence 
its other name of Hellespont is derived. 

The strait, about five miles wide at its mouth, narrows 
gradually as we ascend, until, near the town of Darda- 
nelles, the lofty, but gently swelling shores compress the 


stream within the narrowest limits, and then receding, 
leave two prominent points, Sestos and Abydos, obliquely 
facing each other. 

The Hellespont teems with more poetic and classic 
associations than any other stream on earth. Its shores 
were the chosen scenes of the greatest and most wondrous 
epic produced in any age or clime ; and, separating two 
great continents, its swollen and impetuous waters have 
been repeatedly crossed by invading armies ; by two Per- 
sian monarchs, by Philip's warlike son, by the crusading 
hosts of Europe, and by the Muhammedan conqueror of 

Its rushing flood engulfed Leander within hearing, 
perhaps, of the thrilling shriek of the watchful and 
agonized Hero : and it is left to the imagination to decide 
whether the lover, paralyzed by fear, yielded unresist- 
ingly, or, with all that he coveted on earth in view, 
grappled with fate, and struggled manfully, until, with 
the water drumming in his ear and gurgling in his throat, 
he sank beneath the surface as the last heart-rending cry 
swept across the angry tide. 

Here, too, turning from poetic fiction to prosaic fact, 
the noble bard of England successfully rivalled the feat 
of Leander ; but for his reward, instead of the arms of a 
blooming Hero, found himself grappled in the chill em- 
brace of a tertian ague. 

u The wind was high on Helles' wave," 

and the rain fell in torrents as we entered the narrow 
passage. We stopped at Sestos to land passengers, and 
the scene was inexpressibly amusing, although it rained 
incessantly. Numerous Turks, in the crimson tarbouch, 
or capacious turban, and yet more capacious breeks, with 
Armenians, Greeks, and Sj^rians, were, together with 
their baggage, huddled in seemingly inextricable con- 


fusion at the gangway, whence the Italian baggage-mas- 
ter, swearing "Per corpo di Bacco," was endeavouring 
to drive them into the boats. In clamorous confusion it 
surpassed the richest scenes of Billingsgate. 

In Mitylene, we received on board a dandy, who, in 
dress and smirking self-conceit, scarce fell short of the 
exquisite fop of Broadway in sustaining the delineation 
of the insect. 

"A dandy is a thing that would 
Be a young lady — if it could, 
But since it can't — does all it can 
To show the world — it 's not a man." 

At Tenedos, where we had also stopped, we received 
on board a Turkish effendi (gentleman), chief of customs 
in the island. He had a large retinue of servants, who 
obsequiously attended upon him. He was now playing 
backgammon with a Greek officer in a faded uniform, who 
sported the largest, fiercest, and most fiery moustache we 
had ever seen. The Turk had a pleasing countenance, 
and although dignified, was sociable. He was dressed in 
an azure silk tunic, trimmed with fur, and his head was 
covered by the tarbouch worn by all officials, beneath 
which escaped a short crop of hair. His air was gentle, 
and his person clean. His pipe-bearer had brought him 
a superb narghile, a silver vase eighteen inches high, with 
a flexible tube twelve or fifteen feet long, wound round 
with silver wire, and having a costly amber mouth-piece 
at the end. He politely passed it round, and we each in 
turn took a puff. The substance smoked was not tobacco, 
although, as prepared, it resembled the stem of that 
weed finely chopped. It was called " Tombec," a product 
mostly of Syria and Mesopotamia. The present speci- 
men was from Bagdad, and its flavour was aromatic and 

But while we were sheltered below, the deck-passen- 


gers were exposed to the storm : among them were several 
females, besides those I have mentioned. 

The town of Dardanelles (Abydos), situated on the 
Asiatic side, is unattractive in its appearance, but a 
mart of considerable commerce. A number of consular 
flags wave along the water-front, and here, vessels bound 
to Constantinople, or to any of the ports of the Euxine, 
must await their firman or permit. The castles of the 
Dardanelles are formidable — the one on the Asiatic side 
especially so, from its heavy water-battery. 

A little after sunset, we entered the sea of Marmara 
(White Sea). The mist and clouds, which during the 
afternoon had gathered on the hills of Thrace, were now 
swept towards us, and discharged copious showers as they 
passed. The sea and its surrounding shores were soon 
shrouded in obscurity, and we retired below, first lending 
our only umbrella to a group of females, to shield them, 
in part, from the driving rain. Nor could we suppress 
our indignant remarks on the neglect of the officers of 
the boat, when we looked upon so many human beings 
exposed to the inclemency of such a night, without even 
the protection of an awning. 

When we retired, we were told that the steamer would 
stop until morning at the village of San Stefano, four 
leagues this side of Constantinople, and we anticipated 
enjoying the matchless view which this city is said to 
present from the sea of Marmara ; but a bitter disappoint- 
ment awaited us. On first awaking in the morning, we 
felt that the boat was not in motion, and hastening imme- 
diately to the deck, discovered that we were anchored in 
the " Golden Horn," or harbour of Constantinople. 

On our left was the Seraglio, with the city of Stambhol 
(or Constantinople proper) stretching to the north and 
west, with a multitudinous collection of sombre houses, 
the dull, brown surfaces of their tile-roofs interrupted 


frequently by the swelling domes of mosques, with their 
tall and graceful minarets beside them. 

The " Golden Horn," three miles in length, was filled 
with ships and vessels of every class, and rig, and nation ; 
and hundreds of light and buoyant caiques flitted to 
and fro among them. In the far distance, above the two 
bridges, the upper one resting on boats, flanking the har- 
bour in an oblique line, were the heavy ships of war of 
the Turkish fleet. To the right, on the opposite side of 
the harbour, were the suburbs of Pera, Tophana, and 
Galata (each of them elsewhere a city), with the tower 
of the last springing shaft-like to the skies. To the east, 
across the sea of Marmara, where it receives the Bos- 
phorus, was the town of Scutari (the ancient Chalcedon) , 
where the fourth general council of the Christian church 
was held. Near Scutari, is a spacious grove of cypress, 
shading its million dead ; and a high mountain behind it 
overlooks the cities, the harbour, the sea, the Bosphorus, 
and the surrounding country. 

But, wearied with the very vastness of the field it is 
called upon to admire, the eye reverts with renewed 
delight to the beautiful point of the Seraglio. 

A graceful sweep of palaces, light in their proportions 
and oriental in their structure, washed by the waters of 
the Sea of Marmara and the " Golden Horn," look far up 
the far-famed Bosphorus. Here and there, upon the as- 
cending slope, clustering in one place, and dispersedly in 
another, many a cypress shoots up its dark green pyra- 
midal head, between the numerous and variegated roofs. 
The shaft-like form of the minaret seems to have been 
borrowed from the cypress, and they both exquisitely 
harmonize with oriental architecture. On the summit is 
a magnificent mosque, its roof a rounded surface of domes, 
the central and largest covered with bronze, and glittering 
in the sun, with a light and graceful minaret springing 


from each angle of its court. The pen cannot describe, 
nor can the pencil paint, the beauties of the scene : I will 
not, therefore, attempt it. 

We landed at Tophana and, passing a marble Chinese 
fountain, elaborately carved, and between two mosques, 
an ancient and a modern one, struck directly into the 
narrow and tortuous streets that wind up the steep ascent 
towards the Frank quarter in Pera. The houses are 
mostly of wood, rudely constructed, rarely exceeding one 
story in height, and covered with a dark-brown, clumsy 
tile. The shops, for they are no more, are open to the 
street, each with a slightly-elevated platform, upon which 
the shopkeeper and his workmen are seated a la Turque. 

We did not anticipate seeing so many Turkish females 
in the streets. It seems that, like many of their sex in 
our own country, they spend a great deal of their time in 
shopping. When abroad, they invariably wear the yash- 
mak, the ferejeh, and the clumsy red or yellow morocco 
boot and slipper. The dress of the Armenian woman is 
almost exactly the same, and the Greek women wear the 
Frank costume. The last is making rapid encroachments, 
although many are bitterly opposed to it. A Frank lady 
recently visited one of the Sultanas, when there were 
other female* visitors present; one of the latter, not 
knowing that the Frank lady understood the Turkish 
language, said to another, " See how shamelessly the 
Frank lady exposes her face !" 

" Do you know," replied the one addressed, " it is said 
that, before long, we shall do so, too?" 

" Allah forbid !" exclaimed the first. 

Monday, Feb. 21. Took a caique for San Stefano, the 
residence of our Minister, twelve miles distant, on the 
Sea of Marmara. Differing in its cgnstruction from other 

* Except the nearest relatives, males never visit females in Turkey. 


boats, except, in some points, the American canoe and 
the Malay proa, the breadth of the caique rarely exceeds 
one-fourteenth of its length. The bow and stern rise 
high and curvilinear, and these boats are so easily 
careened that passengers are compelled to recline upon 
the bottom. In consequence of their extreme buoyancy, 
they are propelled with great rapidity when the water is 
smooth, but when it is ruffled, they are exceedingly un- 
safe, and at times, when a squall sweeps across the har- 
bour, they are to be seen like affrighted wild fowl, flitting 
before it. The greatest number of them are rowed by 
two men, with two oars each. The latter are not very 
long, but have wide blades, with concave ends, and heavy 
looms, caused by their being nearly three times the usual 
diameter. This swelling, as it may be termed, is intended 
as a counterbalancing weight ; but, instead of the clumsy 
lozenge-like protuberance, a band of lead or iron, of 
moderate thickness, would better answer the purpose. 

We could not have wished a more delightful day. The 
sky was serene, the surface of the sea undisturbed by a 
ripple, and unchequered by the shadow of a cloud. With 
great rapidity we swept by the wall of the Seraglio and 
the sea-wall of the city, both, throughout their whole 
extent, seemingly Grecian, with more modern props and 
repairs, for which purpose, intermixed with Eoman brick 
and cement, marble slabs, pilasters and columns have 
been indiscriminately used. From one position, I have 
counted fifty minarets in Stambohl alone, omitting Scu- 
tari on one side, and Tophana, in full view, on the other. 
We soon rowed past the Seven Towers, the slaughter- 
house of the days of despotism, which overlooks the 
western wall, and, with the aid of the current, made a 
speedy passage. 

San Stefano is a paltry village, but delightfully situated 
on the margin of the sea, with Princes' Islands towards 


the southern shore, and the snow-crowned summit of 
Mount Olympus beyond it. This village possesses two 
things in its near vicinity, of peculiar interest to an Ame- 
rican — a model farm and an agricultural school. The 
farm consists of about two thousand acres of land, espe- 
cially appropriated to the culture of the cotton-plant. 
Both farm and school are under the superintendence of 
Dr. Davis, of South Carolina; a gentleman who, in the 
estimation of Armenians, Turks and Franks, is admirably 
qualified for his position. He is intelligent, sustains a 
high character, and has many years' experience in this 
branch of cultivation. Already he has made the compa- 
ratively arid fields to bloom ; and besides the principal 
culture, is sedulously engaged in the introduction of 
seeds, plants, domestic animals, and agricultural instru- 
ents. The school is held in one of the kiosks of the 
sultan, which overlooks the sea. 

Dr. Davis has brought some of his own slaves from the 
United States, who are best acquainted with the cotton 
culture. So far from being a mere transposition of slavery 
from one country to another, the very act of removal is a 
guaranty of emancipation to the slave. By a law of the 
Ottoman Empire, no one within its limits can be held in 
slavery for a period exceeding seven years.* Should the 
culture of the cotton-plant succeed in this region, many, 
very many, thousands of additional hands will be required. 
In that event, the Ottoman Empire will present a most 
eligible field for the amelioration of the condition of the 
free negro of our own country. 

In Turkey, every coloured person employed by the 
government receives monthly wages ; and if a slave, is 

* Can this ordinance, like the prohibition of pork, be traced to the Jews 
under the Theocracy ? "And if thy brother, an Hebrew man, or Hebrew 
woman, be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years, then in the seventh 
year thou shalt let him go free from thee." — Deut. xv. 12. 


emancipated at the expiration of seven years, when he 
becomes eligible to any office beneath the sovereignty. 
Many of the high dignitaries of the empire were origin- 
ally slaves ; the present Governor of the Dardanelles is 
a black, and was, a short time since, freed from servi- 
tude. There is here no prejudice founded on distinction 
of colour. The avenues of preferment are open to all, 
and he who is most skilful, accomplished and persevering, 
be his complexion ruddy, brown or black, is most certain 
of success. 

With us, it is manifest that the distinctive character 
of the Israelite does not so effectually cut him off from a 
full assimilation with the human family, as does the pre- 
judice arising from distinction of colour separate the 
Anglo-Saxon from the African. No matter whether this 
prejudice be implanted for wise and holy purposes, or 
whether it be the curse of the age. It exists, its roots 
are deeply planted, it is a part of ourselves, and he is a 
shallow observer of man, blind and bigoted, who will 
overlook or despise this pervading and resistless feeling, 
originate where it may. 

Denied with us, the protecting care which the interest, 
if not the humanity, of the owner extends to the slave, 
the free negro is subject to all the prejudices of colour, 
with some of the rights of a freeman, and many of the 
sentiments of a slave. They constitute an intermediate 
class ; having no bonds of common interest, no ties of 
sympathy to sustain it, often too indolent to labour, and 
too insolent to serve, it is, collectively, the most depraved 
and unhappy race in the western hemisphere. 

The only hope of the free negro, is in his removal be- 
yond the barriers of prejudice. A plan of colonization, 
connected with this country, would present a broad plat- 
form upon which the friends of this unhappy race may 
meet in soberness and truth. The moral and the physical 


condition of the free negroes among us ; the frequent con- 
flicts between them and the whites in our principal cities, 
show that to them, on our soil, freedom carries no healing 
on its wings, and liberty, that blesses all besides, has no 
blessings for them. 

As the consumption of the necessaries of life ever 
increases in proportion to the facility of their production, 
and as Turkey cannot, for a century to come, under any 
possibility, raise sufficient cotton for one-half of her popu- 
lation, she cannot become a rival in the cotton-market. 
On the contrary, its general introduction, as a fabric for 
domestic wear, would create a demand far transcending 
the home supply, and another mart be thereby opened to 
the cotton-planters of the southern and south-western 
states. Already, cotton is fast superseding silk, as an 
article of domestic apparel in the Turkish dominions. 

It is said, but untruly, that the slave-market of Con- 
stantinople has been abolished. An edict, it is true, was 
some years since promulgated, which declared the pur- 
chase and sale of slaves to be unlawful. The prohibition, 
however, is only operative against the Franks, under 
which term the Greeks are included. White male slaves 
are purchased for adopted sons, and female ones for wives 
or adopted daughters. Nubians are bought as slaves, to 
serve the allotted term. Young females, of the principal 
families of Georgia or Circassia, are often entrusted to 
commissioners, who are responsible for their respectful 
treatment. They are only purchased with their own 
consent, and when so purchased, are recognised by the 
Muhammedan law as wives ; the portion is settled upon 
them by law, and if the husband misuses them, or proves 
unfaithful, they can sue for divorce, and recover dowry. 
But, unfortunately, the husband has the power of divorce 
at will, without resorting to any tribunal ; and the words, 
" I divorce you," from his lips, is, to the poor woman, the 


sentence of dismissal from her husband's roof, and from 
the presence of her children. If dismissed without good 
cause, however, she has a right to dowry, but is ever 
after debarred from appeasing that mighty hunger of the 
heart, the yearning of a mother for her children. 

The female slaves, bought for servitude, are .subject to 
the wife, and not to the husband. He has no property in 
them, but is bound to protect and to aid them in their 
settlement.* The males rise in condition with their 
masters : several pashas have been bondmen, and Seras- 
kier Pasha was once a Georgian slave. 

In a ramble to and from the slave-market, yesterday, I 
saw two females, whose lots in life are now widely dif- 
ferent. The first was a Circassian slave, young and inte- 
resting, but by no means beautiful, attired plainly in the 
Turkish costume, and her features exposed by the with- 
drawal of the yashmak. She walked a few paces behind 
her owner, who passed to and fro about the market. 
Stopping occasionally, and again renewing his walk, he 
neither by word nor gesture sought to attract a customer. 
When he was accosted, she quietly, but not sadly, sub- 
mitted to the inspection, and listened in silence, and 
without perceptible emotion, to the interrogatories of the 
probable customer. 

The second female to whom I have alluded was an Ar- 
menian bride being escorted to the residence of her hus- 
band. There were three arabas, or clumsy carriages of 
the country, drawn by two oxen each. The panels of 
the second one were richly carved and blazoned, and its 
roof was supported on upright gilt columns, with richly 
embroidered curtains, and fringes of silk. The concave 
bottom had no seats, but was covered with cushions, upon 
which, at half length, reclined the bride, with a female 

* "And when thou sendest him out from thee, thou shalt not let him go 
away empty." — Deut. xv. 13. 


attendant beside her. On the backs of the oxen were 
four or five stakes diverging outwards, like radii from a 
centre, with long hearse-like purple plumes drooping from 
them. The bride was gorgeously dressed, but her head 
and its appendage riveted my attention. From it hung a 
veil (I can call it nothing else), composed of long strings 
of bright gold beads, spanning from temple to temple, and 
reaching from the forehead to the waist. With the mo- 
tion of the araba, it swayed to and fro in gently waving 
lines, but without disparting, and my strained vision 
could not penetrate the costly screen. I have heard of 
the man in the iron mask, but never before of a woman 
in a golden one. Perhaps, however, 

u The waving golden locks, 
Which make such wanton gambols with the light, 
Hide inner grossness with fair ornament." 

The husband, who is yet as ignorant as myself, may, 
like the Prince of Arragon, find only the blank counte- 
nance of a blinking idiot beneath it, and discover, when 
too late, that the 

" Beauteous scarf 
V^ils but an Indian beauty." 

The conditions of the two females are now widely dif- 
ferent ; but, such are the peculiar customs of this people, 
that it is by no means impossible, indeed is far within the 
range of probability, that the slave of whom I have 
spoken, may yet be elevated to a sphere more exalted 
than that of the wealthy Armenian. If every good has 
its attendant evil, every evil has its antidote ; and in this 
clime of despotism the fetters of slavery are less galling 
than in our own more favoured land. The slave has here 
a voice in his own disposal, and his consent is necessary 
to make a transfer legal. The female slave therefore 
may, and doubtless does, reject the ill-favoured or tyran- 
nical, and yield her assent only to the comely or the 


wealthy purchaser, perchance a bey or a pasha, and be- 
come the favourite wife of a future governor of an exten- 
sive province. 

Besides Dr. Davis and family, including his intelligent 
brother, we here met Dr. Smith, who holds the important 
office of geologist to the Ottoman government, to whom 
we are indebted for many excellent scientific suggestions. 
From Bishop Southgate, of the American Episcopal mis- 
sion, we received many kind offices, including a present 
of his work on Armenia, Persia, and Mesopotamia. By 
the gentlemen of the Evangelical Mission, and their fami- 
lies, we were also w elcomed with cordial hospitality. 

Tuesday, Feb. 24. We embarked with our minister,. 
Mr. Carr, in his sixteen-oared caique, for a trip up the 
Bosphorus. The lovely and meandering Bosphorus, ever 
at the ebb, but rarely turbulent, for the last five miles 
before it becomes merged in the Sea of Marmara, flows 
between almost uninterrupted ranges of mosques, palaces, 
gardens, and kiosks. It were in vain to attempt to de- 
scribe it. I only noted such prominent places as, from 
time to time, we passed. 

First, on the left, or European shore, was a beautiful 
mosque, erected by the late Sultan Mahmoud, in com- 
memoration of the extinction of the Janissaries. Next, 
an immense cannon foundry, with a spacious "Caserne," 
or barracks, on the hill behind it; then the palace of 
Beschiktasche, and the one built by Mahmoud for the 
heir apparent, the present sultan, and another mosque, 
all with gardens and their kiosks between. We also 
passed the tomb of the great admiral Barbarossa, with 
the name "Wao" (Jehovah), in large Arabic characters, 
inscribed upon it. Near the palace, stood the column of 
Simeon and Daniel Stylites, two saintly fools, who spent 
most of their lives upon its summit, sixty feet above the 
ground, and 


" Drowned the whoopings of the owl with sound 
Of pious hymns and prayers." 

The tomb marks the spot where Muhammed II., during 
the siege of Constantinople, transported a fleet of galleys 
overland to the " Sweet Waters," the head of the " Golden 

We then rowed by the stairs, beneath the windows of 
"Cherighan," the palace where the reigning monarch 
holds his court. Like the one below, it fronts upon the 
Bosphorus. It is of wood, neatly constructed, and painted 
a light stone-colour. Its form is a hollow square, with 
handsomely laid-out gardens in the centre, and a guard- 
house beside it. It is a fine, rich building, but, for a 
royal palace, quite an unpretending one. Its style of 
architecture is oriental, and presents to the eye a light 
and graceful appearance. 

On the opposite, or Asiatic side, from Scutari up, is a 
like continuous line of gardens, kiosks, and palaces. 
The swelling hills on each side of the Bosphorus alter- 
nately approach and recede, so that the banks of this 
meandering and beautiful stream form seven promon- 
tories, and as many corresponding inlets to each shore. 

At the narrowest part of the strait, is Roumelia Hissar, 
or castle of Roumelia. Here, was the bridge over which 
Darius led his army into Scythia, and the overlooking 
hill is thence called the throne of Darius. The castle 
was built by Muhammed II., prior to the conquest of 
Constantinople ; and, from a whim of that monarch, the 
walls run in the form of the Arabic characters of the 
word Muhammed. 

At the foot of each inlet of the Bosphorus, is a valley, 
now luxuriant in its verdure. That of Buyukdere, about 
midway, was, at the same time, the most extensive and 
the most beautiful. Hither, in the summer, resort the 
Frank ambassadors and their families. A short distance 

6* E 


up this valley, is Belgrade, with its extensive forest, and 
where once resided the celebrated Mary Montagu. We 
did not stop at Buyukdere, although it looked inviting, 
for other beauties were around, and the Euxine was 
before us. 

Passing along the base of the Giants' mountain, and by 
a modern battery, with the ruins of a Genoese tower high 
on the hill above it, and by the ancient Pharos, on the 
European side, and by the upper forts, with their con- 
tiguous light-houses, we swept rapidly into 

"The Pontic sea, 
Whose icy current and compulsive course 
Ne'er feels retiring ebb, but keeps due on 
To the Propontic and the Hellespont" — 

and beheld in the distance the Symplegades, so familiar 
to the classic reader for the perilous passage of Jason, 
when in search of the Golden Fleece. Beyond, the left- 
hand shore extended north-west and north, to where 

" The Balkan cliffs, like giants stand, 
To sentinel enchanted land;" 

and thence to the dark, swift rolling Danube. To the 
right, the mountainous shores stretched in a continuous 
range towards the site of Sinope, the ancient capital of 
Pontus and the birth-place of Diogenes. Towards the 
north and north-east was one broad expanse of water, 
which, so far from presenting a gloomy appearance, rip- 
pled its tiny waves before the breath of a gentle breeze, 
and basked in the rays of an unclouded sun. A number 
of vessels bound to the Danube, to Odessa, to Trebizond, 
and to other ports of this inland sea, were stretching 
away, under full sail, towards their respective destinations. 
We looked long and earnestly, — first to the left, where 
the mind's eye followed the course of the Danube to the. 
lands of civilization and refinement ; to the north, across 


the barren steppes, to the frozen limits of inhospitable 
and semi-barbarous Russia; to the north-east and east, 
over the range of the Caucasus and along the shores of 
the almost unknown Caspian, and thence southwardly, 
through Persia and India, to Hindostan and the Ganges. 
Warned by the lapse of time, we reluctantly forbore to 
visit the Semplygades, on the largest of which a fragment 
of a pillar, supposed to be part of an altar to Apollo, was 
distinctly visible. 

Returning along the Asiatic shore, we stopped near the 
fortress which lies below the Genoese ruin, and ascended 
the Giants' mountain. On the summit is a mound twenty 
feet long and five feet high, called the tomb of Joshua. 
On the bushes around it are hung shreds and patches of 
clothing, votive offerings for the recovery of the sick. 
All Muhammedan visitors dissolve a little of the superin- 
cumbent earth in water, and drink it as an antidote of 
the fever ; and to those who are diseased, it is conveyed 
as a certain remedy. 

Another tradition maintains that the tomb contains 
only the head of a being so gigantic, that when seated on 
the summit of the mountain, he had one foot immersed in 
the Bosphorus and the other in the Euxine. The first 
tradition is most credited, and a mosque is erected conti- 
guous to the tomb, which a dervish guards from profana- 
tion. The view from this mountain height surpasses all 
that in my wandering life I have ever seen. The Black 
Sea, its surface dotted with many sails, stretched in a 
boundless expanse to the north ; nearer were the Sym- 
plegades and the mouth of the strait, and nearer yet the 
Genoese ruin on the site of the temple of Serapis, and 
over against it the ancient Pharos, or light-house of the 
strait, Before us was the great valley of Buyukdere, 
which, as its name imports, is broad, beautiful and luxu- 
riant, with its river, its port, its shipping and its houses ; 


an acqueduct near, and Belgrade, with its forest, in the 
distance; while sweeping between, and stretching its 
meandering length along as far as Constantinople, is the 
palace-crowned, the indescribably beautiful Bosphorus. 
The promontories, bold, but not rugged, gracefully swell- 
ing into the air, and covered with verdure ; and the val- 
leys, so inviting as to create a longing desire to erect in 
each successive one a bower for those we love most dearly. 

A little below Buyukdere, on the Asiatic shore, there 
is a rude granite column upon a projecting point, which 
indicates the last encampment of ten thousand Russians, 
on the march to succour Constantinople, when threatened 
by Mehemet Ali, of Egypt. 

When Constantinople was rescued from the clutches of 
this rebellious pasha by the interposition of the European 
powers, he came as a tributary to render homage to the 
sultan. While here, he selected, as the site of the palace 
he was required to build, the promontory immediately 
below and in full sight of the one upon which the Russian 
column is erected, as if to intimate to posterity that if 
the Russians came thus far, he had preceded them, and 
that it was the fear of him that brought them. 

These are ominous signs, the first especially ; for, if a 
Russian army can so speedily and unexpectedly (it came 
without a summons) reach the environs of Constantinople, 
what is to prevent the same rapid movement of a hostile 
and yet more powerful force ? Of their danger the Turks 
are well aware, but instead of preparing to resist, in the 
spirit of fatalism they supinely await the dread event. 
There is a tradition among them that they are to be 
driven from Europe by a light-haired race from the north, 
and their fears have settled upon the Russians. The 
prediction will work its own accomplishment : the un- 
happy presentiment of the Turk, (for the feeling amounts 
to such,) will be more than embattled hosts against him, 


and the dispassionate observer can already predict not 
only his expulsion from Europe, but the downfall of the 
Ottoman empire. The handwriting is on the wall, and 
it needs not a Daniel to interpret it. Under present 
auspices, this country must ere long attain her destiny ; 
and her decline and fall will add another to the many 
lessons of experience, to instruct future generations and 
furnish another proof of the perishable nature of all 
human institutions. Could Christianity but shed its 
benign influence over this misguided people, their na- 
tional existence might be prolonged, and the sad catas- 
trophe averted. One crying evil pervades the land, and 
while it exists, there can be no hope. 

In this country, from the hovel to the palace, woman is 
in a state of domestic servitude. It is unnecessary to dwell 
upon the degradation of the female sex here, in India, 
and among all barbarous nations. The fact is clearly 
established, that everywhere, in all nations and among 
every people, beyond the pale of Christianity, woman is 
deplorably debased. Christianity has ever expressed the 
deepest solicitude for the female sex ; for the inordinate 
authority of man over woman, or the undue subjection of 
the female to the male, tends to the debasement of the 
morals of each. Woman, even when invested with the 
plenitude of her rights and mistress of her own actions, is 
but too often the feeble victim of the seducements which 
surround her. How utterly helpless is she, therefore, 
when her will is not her own ! The very idea of resist- 
ance vanishes, vice becomes a seeming duty, and man, 
gradually debased by the facility with which his irregular 
appetites are indulged, plunges into the lowest depths of 
sensuality. Woman, whose influence over the heart of 
man is irresistible, whenever she is debased, revisits her 
corruption upon man ; and thus this pervading influence 
of the sexes over each other, by a species of mutual con- 


tamination, moves from generation to generation in one 
vicious circle, from which they can only be delivered by 
the supernatural and refining influence of Christianity. 

Christianity acts first upon woman, because, from the 
gentleness and tractability of her nature, she is more sus- 
ceptible of the influence of its law of purity and love ; 
and when she is thus regenerated, who shall declare the 
extent of her chastening influence over the sons of the 
children of men ? Under the elevating and benign influ- 
ences of Christianity, she proceeds to subdue, to reform, 
to ennoble, and perfect everything around her ; and, by 
this supernatural power, she so softens the affections and 
refines the feelings of the lord of creation, as to dispose 
him to prefer the purity and confidence of domestic love, 
to the selfish and utter isolation of a life of sensual 

But, alas ! Christianity, all lovely and gentle as she is, 
can find no entrance here ; for bigotry, with sneering lip 
and contracted brow, stands at the portal. 



Saturday, Feb. 26. To-day, by appointment, I had an 
audience with the sultan. Accompanied by the Drago- 
man of our legation, I took a caique, and proceeded three 
miles up the Bosphorus, to the palace of "Cherighan," 
mentioned before. 

We landed at the palace stairs, and leaving our over- 
shoes, which etiquette required us to bring, we ascended 
a broad and lofty flight of stairs, and passing through an 
ante-chamber, were ushered into a room which overlooked 
the Bosphorus, and was occupied by Sheffie Bey, the chief 
and confidential secretary of the sultan. It was hand- 
somely furnished, but no more. 

With the secretary, was an Armenian, a great favourite 
of the monarch, and superintendent of the public works 
in and near Constantinople. 

Shortly after we were seated, as many pipe-bearers as 
there were visitors entered the apartment, and, with heads 
bowed down and their left hands upon their breasts, pre- 
sented each of us with a chiboque ; then retiring back- 
wards a few paces, dropped on one knee, and lifting the 
bowl of the pipe, placed a gilt or golden saucer (I could 
not tell which) beneath it. 

I am not a smoker, and hold, with King James I., that 

" If there be any herb, in any place, 
Most opposite to God's herb of grace," 

it is tobacco ; but as an opportunity of inhaling the odour 

of the weed of royalty might never again present itself, 



my inclinations jumped accordant with the rules of eti- 
quette, and I puffed away with as much vivacity as any 

In a short time the attendants reappeared, one of them 
bearing a golden salver, covered with a crimson cloth, 
gorgeously embroidered. The latter was presently with- 
drawn, and exhibited upon the massive piece of plate a 
number of tiny coffee-cups, set in stands or holders, in 
shape exactly like the egg-cups we use at home. The 
cups were of the choicest porcelain, most beautifully ena- 
melled, and the holders were rich filagree gold, set with 
turquoise and emerald. 

Again an attendant approached each of us, and, in the 
same manner as before, presented a cup of coffee. Like 
the tobacco, it was flavoured with some aromatic sub- 
stance, which rendered it delicious. 

As I sat upon the divan, a cup of priceless value in 
one hand, and the other holding a chibouque, the bowl 
of which was eight feet distant, with a jasmin stem be- 
tween, having a mouthpiece of the purest and costliest 
amber, encircled with diamonds, I could scarce realize 
my position. But I had been under a royal roof before, 
and my nerves preserved their equanimity. 

The secretary had the most prepossessing countenance 
of any Turk I had yet seen, and in conversation evinced 
a spirit of inquiry and an amount of intelligence that far 
surpassed my expectations. 

To this tribute he is not indebted to the pipes and 
coffee, which form as indispensable a part in a Turkish 
welcome to a visitor, as, with us, the invitation to be 

His history is a pleasing one. He was a poor boy ; a 
charity scholar in one of the public schools. The late 
sultan, Mahmoud, requiring a page to fill a vacancy in 
his suite, directed the appointment to be given to the 

the sultan's court-yard. 73 

most intelligent pupil. The present secretary was the for- 
tunate one, and by his abilities, his suavity and discretion, 
has risen to the highest office near the person of majesty. 

The empty cups and exhausted pipes were removed by 
the attendants, who, in all their approaches and retirings, 
were careful not to turn their backs upon us. Observing 
this, I began to distrust my ability to make a retrograde 
movement in a direct line, from the sublime presence into 
which I was about to be ushered. 

One of the pashas had preceded me, and I was com- 
pelled to wait nearly half an hour. At length, we were 
summoned. Descending the flight of stairs and resuming 
our overshoes, we were led across the court, into which, 
when passing in a caique a few days before, I had looked 
so eagerly. It is oblong, and contains about four acres, 
laid out in parterres and gravel walks, with many young 
and thrifty trees, and a great variety of plants : flowers 
there were few, for it was yet early in the season. In 
the centre, with a gravelled walk between, were two 
quadrangular, artificial ponds, in which a number of gold 
and silver fish were gambolling in security, protected as 
they were from the talons of the cormorant by nets drawn 
over a few feet above the surface of the water. 

The fish sporting beneath, the bird of prey poised 
above, ready for a swoop through the first rent of the 
flimsy screen, seemed fitting emblems of the feeble Turk 
and the vigorous and grasping Russian. 

There was nothing imposing, but all was rich and in 
exquisite taste. The bronze gates, with alternate gilt 
bars, which open on the Bosphorus between the centre 
building and the northern wing, were exceedingly light 
and beautiful. A part of the court, most probably that 
appropriated to the harem, or apartments of the women, 
was screened off by a lofty railing of like material and 


We were led to the entrance of the southern wing, and 
again throwing off our overshoes, entered a lofty and spa- 
cious hall, matted throughout, with two broad flights of 
stairs ascending from the far extreme to an elevated plat- 
form or landing, whence, uniting in one, they issued upon 
the floor above. 

On the right and left of the hall were doors opening 
into various apartments, and there were a number of offi- 
cers and attendants on either side and stationed at inter- 
vals along the stairway, all preserving a silence the most 

The secretary, who had gone before, now approached 
and beckoned to us to follow. But here an unexpected 
difficulty was presented. The chamberlain in waiting 
objected to my sword, and required that I should lay it 
aside. I replied that the audience was given to me as an 
officer of the United States ; that the sword was part of my 
uniform, and that I could not dispense with it. My re- 
fusal was met with the assurance that the etiquette of the 
court peremptorily required it. I asked if the custom 
had been invariably complied with, and inquired of the 
dragoman whether Mr. Carr, our minister, had, in confor- 
mity with it, ever attended an audience without his 
sword ; but even as I spoke, my mind, without regard to 
precedent, had come to the alternative, no sword, no 

Whether the secretary had, during the discussion, re- 
ferred the matter to a higher quarter, I could not tell, for 
my attention had been so engrossed for some minutes, 
that I had not noticed him. He now came forward, how- 
ever, and decided that I should retain the sword. At 
this I truly rejoiced, for it would have been unpleasant 
to retire after having gone so far. It is due to Mr. Brown, 
the dragoman, to say that he sustained me. 

The discussion at an end, we ascended the stairway, 


which was covered with a good and comfortable but not 
a costly carpet, and passed into a room more handsomely 
furnished and more lofty, but in every other respect of 
the same dimensions as the one immediately below it. A 
rich carpet was upon the floor, a magnificent chandelier, 
all crystal and gold, was suspended from the ceiling, and 
costly divans and tables, with other articles of furniture, 
were interspersed about the room ; but I had not time to 
note them, for on the left hung a gorgeous crimson velvet 
curtain, embroidered and fringed with gold, and towards 
it the secretary led the way. His countenance and his 
manner exhibited more awe than I had ever seen depicted 
in the human countenance. He seemed to hold his 
breath, and his step was so soft and stealthy that once or 
twice I stopped, under the impression that I had left him 
behind, but found him ever beside me. There were three 
of us in close proximity, and the stairway was lined with 
officers and attendants, but such was the death-like still- 
ness that I could distinctly hear my own footfall, which, 
unaccustomed to palace regulations, fell with untutored 
republican firmness upon the royal floor. If it had been 
a wild beast slumbering in his lair that we were about to 
visit, there could not have been a silence more deeply 

Fretted at such abject servility, I quickened my pace 
towards the curtain, when Sheflie Bey, rather gliding 
than stepping before me, cautiously and slowly raised a 
corner for me to pass. Wondering at his subdued and 
terror-stricken attitude, I stepped across the threshold, 
and felt, without yet perceiving it, that I was in the pre- 
sence of the Sultan. 

The heavy folds of the window-curtains so obscured 
the light that it seemed as if the day were drawing to a 
close instead of being at its high meridian. 

As with the expanding pupil the eye took in surround- 


ing objects, the apartment, its furniture and its royal 
tenant, presented a different scene from what, if left to 
itself, the imagination would have drawn. 

The room, less spacious, but as lofty as the adjoining 
one, was furnished in the modern European style, and 
like a familiar thing, a stove stood nearly in the centre. 
On a sofa, by a window, through which he might have 
looked upon us as we crossed the court, with a crimson 
tarbouch, its gold button and blue silk tassel on his head, 
a black kerchief around his neck, attired in a blue mili- 
tary frock and pantaloons, and polished French boots 
upon his feet, sat the monarch, without any of the attri- 
butes of sovereignty about him. 

A man, young in years, but evidently of impaired and 
delicate constitution, his wearied and spiritless air was 
unrelieved by any indication of intellectual energy. He 
eyed me fixedly as I advanced, and on him my attention 
was no less intently riveted. As he smiled I stopped, ex- 
pecting that he was about to speak, but he motioned 
gently with his hand for me to approach yet nearer. 
Through the interpreter, he then bade me welcome, for 
which I expressed my acknowledgments. 

The interview was not a protracted one. In the course 
of it, as requested by Mr. Carr, I presented him, in the 
name of the President of the United States, with some 
biographies and prints, illustrative of the character and 
habits of our North American Indians, the work of Ame- 
rican artists. He looked a/fc some of them, which were 
placed before him by an attendant, and said that he con- 
sidered them as evidences of the advancement of the 
United States in civilization, and would treasure them as 
a souvenir of the good feeling of its government towards 
him. At the word civilization, pronounced in French, I 
started; for it seemed singular, coming from the lips 
of a Turk, and applied to our country. I have since 


learned that he is but a student in French, and presume 
that, by the word "civilization," he meant the arts and 

When about to take my leave, he renewed his welcome, 
and said that I had his full authority to see anything in 
Stambohl I might desire. 

While in his presence, I could not refrain from drawing 
comparisons and moralizing on fate. There was the Sul- 
tan, an Eastern despot, the ruler of mighty kingdoms and 
the arbiter of the fate of millions of his fellow-creatures ; 
and, face to face, a few feet distant, one, in rank and con- 
dition, among the very humblest servants of a far-distant 
republic ; and yet, little as life has to cheer, I would not 
change positions with him, unless I could carry with me 
my faith, my friendships, and my aspirations. 

My feelings saddened as I looked upon the monarch, 
and I thought of Montezuma. Evidently, like a northern 
clime, his year of life had known two seasons only, and 
he had leaped at once from youth to imbecility. His 
smile was one of the sweetest I had ever looked upon, — 
his voice almost the most melodious I had ever heard; his 
manner was gentleness itself, and everything about him 
bespoke a kind and amiable disposition. He is said to 
be very affectionate, to his mother in especial, and is 
generous to the extreme of prodigality. But there is that 
indescribably sad expression in his countenance, which is 
thought to indicate an early death. A presentiment of 
the kind, mingled perhaps with a boding fear of the over- 
throw of his country, seems to pervade and depress his 
spirits. In truth, like Damocles, this descendant of the 
Caliphs sits beneath a suspended fate. Through him, the 
souls of the mighty monarchs who have gone before, seem 
to brood over the impending fate of an empire which once 
extended from the Atlantic to the Ganges, from the Cau- 
casus to the Indian Ocean. 
7 * 


Returning from the room of audience to that of the 
secretary, we were again presented with pipes, and, in- 
stead of coffee, sherbet was handed round; a drink so cool' 
and so delicious, that my unaccustomed palate treasures 
its flavour in grateful remembrance. 

One circumstance occurred to me as singular. Neither 
on the palace stairs, nor in the court, nor in the palace 
itself, did I see a single soldier ; and, but for the obse- 
quiousness of the Sultan's officers and attendants, I might 
have fancied myself on a visit to a wealthy private gen- 

One trifling circumstance will serve to show the gene- 
rous disposition of the Sultan. On the day succeeding 
the audience, he expressed to the Grand Vizier his desire 
to tender me a present, such as became a sovereign to 
make, and directed him to ascertain in what mode it 
would be most acceptable to myself. When his wish was 
made known to me, I replied, that I felt sufficiently com- 
pensated by an audience, which, I had been given to 
understand, was never before granted to any but officers 
of the highest rank ; and that, even if the constitution of 
my country did not prohibit it, I could not accept a remu- 
neration for an act of duty that had been rendered so 
grateful in its performance. I further added, that more 
than any present, I would prize the granting of the 

The peculiar honour intended to be conferred by the 
audience, I ascribed to the high standing and correspond- 
ing influence of our minister, Mr. Carr. 

That gentleman's reputation needs not my shallow tri- 
bute to swell his tide of merited popularity. In every 
manly and political relation, he was all that we could 
desire to see in a representative of our country. Sparing 
no exertion in our behalf, he had failed in one thing only, 
for which I was most solicitous, — that the officers who 


were with me should also be admitted to the audience. 
The application was courteously, but firmly refused, and 
the audience granted was strictly a private one. 

My instructions from the Navy Department, when I left 
the United States, were to apply, through our Minister at 
the Ottoman Porte, for a firman, authorising our party to 
pass through the Turkish dominions, in Syria, to the 
Dead Sea. It was asked as a matter of respect to the 
Turkish government, and to procure facilities from its 
officials, when in their vicinities. As to protection against 
the Arabs, it could afford none whatever; for Eastern 
travellers well know that, ten miles east of a line drawn 
from Jerusalem to Nabulus, the tribes roam uncontrolled, 
and rob and murder with impunity. Mr. Carr fully car- 
ried out the instructions he had received, and did his best 
to procure the firman. 

Before leaving Constantinople, in part with the officers, 
in part alone, I visited some of the principal mosques, the 
seraglio, the arsenal, and the fleet, and found that the per- 
mission given by the Sultan was not an idle compliment. 

We first visited the mosque of Victory, built by the late 
Sultan, to which I have before alluded. It is throughout 
of white marble, situated in the midst of a large quadran- 
gular court, near the inlet of the Golden Horn, from the 
Bosphorus. It has a colonnade all around it; the columns 
supporting it, lofty and well-proportioned. Drawing slip- 
pers over our boots, we lifted a corner of the mat which 
hung as a curtain over the door-way, and entered within 
the mosque. It is a lofty rotunda, the vaulted roof 
sweeping gracefully above it, at the height of upwards of 
a hundred feet. It has high windows, with Saracenic 
arches at the sides, and Arabic sentences from the Koran 
are inscribed in gilt characters around the walls. Fronts 
ing the entrance, the mihrab (a stone set in a recess) 
indicates the direction of the Kebla of Mecca, towards 


which the faithful turn, when they make their prostra- 
tions and recite their prayers. A little to the right of 
the mihrab was the minber (an elevated pulpit), where 
the Cheatibj or Imaum, reads the chapters from the Koran. 
There were no paintings, no sculpture, no furniture. The 
only ornaments, the mihrab and the minber, being of a 
semi-transparent alabaster and pea-green marble. Fur- 
ther to the right was a gallery, screened by Arabesque 
gilt lattice-work, for the accommodation of the Sultan, 
when he attends the mosque. Besides the characters from 
the Koran, which formed a kind of zone around the cor- 
nice, the walls were covered with chequered lines of 
various colours, which gave them a light and not un- 
pleasing appearance. The floor was richly carpeted, and 
two large chandeliers hung suspended from the ceiling. 
Ascending to the gallery, we found several apartments, 
the floors covered with carpets of English manufacture, 
which led to the latticed gallery-room, overlooking the 
interior of the mosque. It had simply a carpet on the 
floor, and a divan with cushions on one side ; on the other 
side was a beautiful boudoir, with Persian carpet, French 
curtains and mirrors, and with divans of rich sky-blue 
damask silk. This last is intended as a place of repose, 
when the Sultan returns from his devotions. 

Over the door of the former was inscribed in large gilt 
characters, the words " the Sultan is the shadow of God 
on earth." Beside the mosque were two cylindrical, hol- 
low shafts of marble, called minarets, with a gallery run- 
ning around each near the top, whence the muezzin calls 
the faithful to prayer. Within the mosque there were no 
devotees — no officiating dervishes. Perhaps, like some 
fashionable churches with us, it is too aristocratic for 
daily worship, and set forms on set days alone indicate 
the object of its institution. 

Thence we crossed the Golden Horn in caiques, and 


landing on Seraglio Point, by an old kiosk, proceeded 
to the mosque of St. Sophia, — externally, an indescriba- 
ble mass of blocks and domes, with outstanding minarets 
beside it. This former Christian church, built by Con- 
stantine the Great in the fourth, and rebuilt by Jus- 
tinian in the sixth century, has often passed through the 
scathing ordeal of fire, and witnessed many revolutions 
around it. Unfortunately, a number of workmen were 
employed in repairing it, and from near the floor to the 
roof of the dome, its interior presented one entangled net- 
work of scaffolding. This church, first called the " temple 
of Divine Wisdom," was built of granite and porphyry, 
and white, blue, green, black and veined marbles. It has 
eight porphyry columns, taken by Aurelius from the great 
temple of the sun at Baelbec ; eight jasper ones from the 
temple of Diana at Ephesus ; and others from Troas, 
Cyzicus, Athens and the Cyclades. Its dome and roof are 
supported by columns of the temples of Isis and Osiris ; 
of the sun and moon, at Heliopolis and Ephesus ; of 
Minerva, at Athens ; of Phoebus, at Delos ; and of Cybele, 
at Cyzicus. Over the main cross, were inscribed the 
words of the vision, " In hoc signo vinces." 

After its destruction by fire, it was sixteen years re- 
building. When completed, Justinian entered with the 
Patriarch on Christmas day, and running alone to the 
pulpit, cried out, "God be praised, who hath esteemed 
me worthy to complete such a work. Solomon, I have 
surpassed thee !" 

This church is in the form of a Greek cross, 180 feet 
high, 269 long, and 143 broad. It has one large central 
and two side domes ; its walls are of polished stones, and 
it is paved with large flags. Within the cupola, is in- 
scribed the verse of the Koran, " God is the light of the 
heavens and the earth." It has two banners, one on each 
side of the minber, denoting the victories of Ismalism over 



Judaism and Christianity ; and on the nights of the Rama- 
dan, when this, as well as all the other mosques, are illu- 
minated, the Imaum mounts it with a wooden sword in 
his hand. On each minaret is a gilt crescent. 

Upon the interior surface of the great dome and the 
vaulted roofs of the transept, we counted many crosses in 
mosaic, the work of its Christian architect. A number 
of workmen were employed scaling off the plaster, which, 
in a more bigoted day, had been spread over the interior 
walls of this once rich and beautiful church. When Con- 
stantinople was taken by Muhammed II., he forced his 
charger through a throng of priests and nuns, who had 
fled to the sacred temple, and riding up to the high altar, 
sprang from his horse and exclaimed, " there is no God 
but God — and Muhammed is his prophet !" This dese- 
cration was the signal for murder, violation and every 
horrible excess. 

Ascending to the gallery, supported on columns of 
jasper, we were led out upon the swelling roof, dazzling 
with reflected light, to look upon the bee-hive city and 
its circumjacent scenes. On leaving the mosque, our 
curiosity ungratified from its condition, we were accosted 
by many boys, proffering for sale pieces of mosaic, that 
had fallen from the ceiling. 

We next visited the mosque " Sultan Ahmed," which, 
unlike the rest, has six minarets beside it. It seemed 
larger even than St. Sophia, but is entirely destitute of 
decoration, save a multitude of small lamps, each sus- 
pended by a separate chain, and reaching from the ceiling 
to within eight feet of the pavement. There are also 
four enormous columns supporting the dome, their height 
scarce twice exceeding their diameter; they are 108 feet in 
circumference. Their disproportioned bulk, with the nu- 
merous chains and small parti-coloured lamps, very much 
impair the effect of an otherwise magnificent interior. 


There were sparrows flitting about among groups of 
worshippers ; and in a remote corner was a Nubian, with 
his head bent to the pavement in prostration. Just 
within the great door, a Turkish scribe was copying the 
Koran. In the gallery were many boxes, said to be 
filled with the treasures of the faithful, who had depo- 
sited them there, when starting on the pilgrimage to 
Mecca. There were some twenty or thirty persons pre- 
sent ; a few, like the black, engaged in their devotions, 
but the greater number wandered about, with little reve- 
rence in their deportment; and the boys, who had fol- 
lowed us from St. Sophia, were importunate in offering 
their mosaics for sale. If a stranger could be justified in 
forming an opinion on so grave a subject, founded on the 
observation of a few weeks, he might be led to conclude, 
from the universal apathy prevailing around him, that 
the religion of Muhammed is now in about the same con- 
dition as was the Polytheism of Pagan Rome, immediately 
prior to the introduction of Christianity. 

Justinian and Muhammed II., the rebuilder and dese- 
crater of the great temple, lie together in a mosque erected 
by the last on the site of the church of the Holy Apostles. 
There are none so wholly evil as not to possess some 
redeeming trait. It is related of this Muhammed, that, 
when building his mosque, a poor woman refused, on any 
terms, to dispose of her dilapidated house, which stood 
within the precincts ; and the monarch, respecting her 
rights, allowed it to stand, a monument of his own justice, 
until, at her death, he became peaceably possessed of it. 
The same mosque contains the tomb of Sultan Selim, the 
conqueror of Egypt. On it, the following words are 
inscribed : g 

" On this day, the Sultan Selim passed to his eternal 
kingdom, leaving the empire of the world to Sulieman." 

From the mosque " Sultan Ahmed" we passed into the 


Hippodrome, formed by the emperor Severus. It is now 
upwards of 700 feet long, and nearly 500 broad. In it is 
the great obelisk of Thebaic stone, a four-sided pyramidal 
shaft, of one entire piece, fifty feet high, and covered with 
hieroglyphics. A short distance from it is the fragment 
of another, composed of different pieces of marble, and 
once covered with brass plates. At one end stands the 
" brazen column," consisting of three serpents embracing 
in spiral folds, and supposed to have been brought from 
Delphi, where it supported the golden tripod, which the 
Greeks, after the battle of Plataea, found in the camp of 
Mardonius. While standing here, our minds absorbed 
in the past, we were brought back to the present by the 
muezzin's call to prayer from the numerous minarets 
around. The sonorous tones of the muezzins, and the 
solemn import of the words, appeal strongly to the senses, 
and in a crowded city are more appropriate, as they are 
certainly more impressive, than the discordant sounds of 
our clanging bells. But, if " use doth breed a habit in a 
man," so a habit, once acquired, becomes frequently a 
mere physical matter, independent of and sometimes 
apart from the mind. The Turks passing to and fro in 
the Hippodrome paid no attention to the muezzin's call, 
which, if not unheard, was wholly unheeded. 

Within the Hippodrome we saw what we had all been 
taught to consider the dromedary, viz., a camel with two 
humps upon its back. But we learned from good au- 
thority that the dromedary differs from the camel only in 
possessing more agility and swiftness ; the first bearing 
the same relation to the second that the thorough-bred 
horse does to the heavy, plodding hack. The camel and 
the dromedary have each one hump ; those with two are 
rare exceptions, and an authentic writer states that in a 
caravan of five thousand camels, he saw not more than 
eight or ten with two humps. The one we saw was a 


Bactrian camel, the camel of central Asia, which, unlike 
the others, has frequently two humps. It is found in the 
Crimea, and the countries bordering on the Caucasus. 
But the Hippodrome, or the Almeidan, is interesting as 
the theatre of the most fearful tragedy of modern times 
— the slaughter of the Janissaries. 

From the Hippodrome we were conducted to the mau- 
soleum containing the tomb of the Sultan Mahmoud and 
several of his family. It is a lofty circular room, with a 
vaulted ceiling, — the whole admirably proportioned and 
exquisitely finished. The architect was an Italian, and 
the groined roof and beautiful foliage of flowers in stucco, 
around the cornice, proved that he was a master in his 
calling. Everything, save the tombs, is of the softest 
and purest white. 

The tomb of Mahmoud is a sarcophagus about eight 
feet high and as many long, covered with purple cloth 
embroidered in gold, and many votive shawls of the 
richest cashmere thrown over it, any one of which would 
excite attention and awaken cupidity in the female breast. 
At the head is the crimson tarbouch which the monarch 
wore in life, with a lofty plume secured by a large and 
lustrous aigrette of diamonds. The following words are 
inscribed in letters of gold on the face of the tomb : 

This is the tomb 

Of the layer of the basis of the civilization 

Of his empire : 

Of the monarch of exalted place, 

The Sultan victorious and just, 

Mahmoud Khan, 

Son of the victorious Abd' al Hamid Khan. 

(May the Almighty make his abode in the gardens of Paradise.) 

Born, Rebuel Evol 14, 1199. 

Accession, Jemaji Evol 4, 1228. 

Death, m. 9, 1255. 

Reigned 31 years, 10 months, 14 days. 



According to the impelling motive, the hero or the 
butcher of the Almeidan, he died peaceably in his bed, by 
whose word of command, thousands of his fellow-creatures 
were swept from existence. Whether the dictates of 
an unfeeling, or a sound yet reluctant policy, the mas- 
sacre of the Janissaries is a fearful page in his life's his- 
tory. How difficult, and how thankless, is the task of 
a reformer ! Mahmoud, who sagaciously discerned the 
superiority of the arts of civilization over wild barbaric 
force, commenced the radical reform of a people univer- 
sally regarded as the most impracticable in the world. 
With an indomitable energy, worthy of a better result, 
he persevered to the hour of his death. How his efforts 
were seconded by the Christian kingdoms of Europe, let 
the destruction of his fleet at Navarino, and the partial 
dismemberment of his empire, attest. By destroying the 
turbulent and rapacious Janissaries, although his people 
were benefited, he crushed, perhaps for ever, that fanatic 
courage, founded on fatalism and bigotry, which had so 
often led the Muslim troops to victory. 

Whether the efforts made by the late Sultan, and now 
making by Abd' al Medjid, his successor, will result in 
the civilization or the downfall of the Ottoman Empire, 
remains to be determined. From the eager employment 
of Franks, the introduction of foreign machinery, and 
the adoption of improved modes of cultivating the land, 
the present Sultan gives the strongest assurance of his 
anxiety to promote the welfare of his people. But the 
very attempt at a higher development of national cha- 
racter, has led to greater military weakness; and the 
fable of the Wolf and the Lamb, its actors represented by 
Kussia and the Porte, will ere long be transferred to the 
page of history. 

After the tomb of Mahmoud, we were shown the 
" Burnt Column," so called from its having been charred 


and blackened by numerous conflagrations around it. It 
is of porphyry, and was brought from Home by Constan- 
tine the Great, whose statue, it is supposed, stood upon 
its summit — others say, an Apollo by Phidias, which was 
struck by lightning. Constantine placed some relics be- 
neath it, whence Christians make the sign of the cross 
in passing it. It is composed of eight stones, the joints 
covered with copper; hence, some travellers have de- 
scribed it as a monolith. At present, it is disfigured and 
unsightly. Constantine inscribed these words on the 
pedestal : — "Oh Christ ! king and master of the universe, 
I consecrate this humble tower, this sceptre, and the 
power of Kome, to thee ! Have them in thy holy keep- 
ing, and preserve them from misfortune." 

We were also taken to the cistern of a thousand and 
one columns. Descending a long flight of wooden stairs, 
dimly lighted from the low door, we came upon a subter- 
raneous colonnade of apparently unknown dimensions. A 
subterranean palace, its vaulted roof supported by some 
hundreds of white marble columns of double height, will 
give the best idea of the wonderful cisterns of this ancient 
capital. Now, the whole interior is filled with earth and 
rubbish half the height of the lower tier of columns, and 
we found it occupied by silk spinners, who seemed merrily 
to ply their tasks, despite the damp and gloom of their 
singular work-shop. 

From the summit of a tower similar to that at Galata, 
we had all Constantinople at our feet. From above, 
the dense masses of dingy roofs loom up the magnifi- 
cent domes of St. Sophia, Sultan Ahmed, and other 
mosques, with their alabaster-like minarets beside them, 
— and beyond, semi-girdled by the sea, is the Seraglio, or 
palace of the Sultans, covering the site of the ancient 
Byzantium. It is rather a collection of palaces and gar- 
dens, relieved and beautifully ornamented by the light 


airy forms of the arrowy cypress. But it is impossible to 
pourtray the striking and beautiful effect of a scene like 
this, which so charmed 

"The charming Mary Montagu." 

On our way to the bazaars, we stumbled upon the 
mosque of Bajazet, the court of which is surrounded by 
a row of old columns, evidently pillaged from one or 
more heathen temples of remote antiquity. Ten were of 
verde antique, six of Egyptian granite, and four of jasper. 
In the court is a fountain and some wintry trees, their 
branches darkened by many pigeons. The love of ani- 
mals inculcated by the prophet is beautifully shown in 
the court of this mosque, where some thousands of pigeons 
were being fed by an old Turk from a chest of grain. 
This chest is supported by charitable contributions, and 
we saw an old, poor man, drop in his copper mite. When 
the pigeons came down from tree, and roof, and cornice, 
they darkened the air, and while feeding presented an 
immense surface of blue backs and tails. 

The bazaars form a labyrinth of narrow streets, arched 
over like some of our arcades, with mean-looking shops 
on each side. We were compelled to pick our way over 
round paving-stones coated with mud, jostled every mo- 
ment by people of all nations hurrying hither and thither 
in their busy pursuits. The Turk sits smoking dignified 
and silent until you express a desire to see an article in 
his shop ; but the Christians, and more particularly the 
Jews, fix upon you with a tenacity that renders it diffi- 
cult to shake them off. At length, we struck up a trad- 
ing friendship with Mehemet Effendi, a Turkish dealer in 
perfumes and embroidery, which continued during our 
stay at Constantinople. In his neat back shop we were 
always sure to be regaled with pipes, coffee, and a cool, 
delicious preparation of cream. He seemed to possess 


Aladdin's lamp, for we could call for nothing that was not 
immediately forthcoming, from a jasmine pipe-stem to the 
golden embroidery of Persia ; from the attar of roses to 
the Indian cashmere. 

It is customary here, for a merchant to ask a great deal 
more than he expects you to give. You offer, perhaps, 
one-third of his demand — he abates a little ; you become 
somewhat more liberal, until at length the bargain is 
closed, much to the annoyance of those accustomed to 
the one price system ; for one never knows that he has 
not been cheated. We had provided ourselves with a 
few Turkish phrases for the occasion, and our shopping 
proceeded much after this manner. Taking up an amber 
mouthpiece, of a pure lemon colour, (the most prized 
among the Turks,) "Katch hrutdh?" (How many piastres?) 
we asked. 

Mehemet Effendi. — " Yus eW (150 piastres, about six 
dollars) . 

That being altogether too much, we replied, 

" Chock paxhali" (It is too dear). 

Whereupon Mehemet, with oriental gravity, entered 
upon a long dissertation on the virtues and value of the 
mouthpiece, but which, being in a language we did not 
understand, had no effect whatever. However, we offered 
fifty piastres ; and after much talking, smoking divers 
pipes, and drinking divers tiny cups of coffee, the bargain 
was closed at one hundred piastres. 

Feb. 22. All good Musselmen go to mosque on Fridays, 
besides praying five times a day. The Sultan goes every 
Friday to a different mosque, which is known beforehand. 
For the purpose of seeing his sublime majesty in public, 
we went this morning to the convent of dervishes in Pera, 
where he was to be present. A small collection of the 
faithful had assembled in the court of the mosque, toge- 
ther with many Christians, Greeks, Armenians, and 


Franks. The convent is a mean-looking building, in the 
rear of a street of small shops and cafes, with a neglected 
burial-ground in front and beside it. None but the faith- 
ful being permitted to enter a mosque when the Sultan 
attends, we were constrained to remain in the court, 
taking our position near the entrance. At the gate of the 
adjoining grave-yard were a number of females, forming 
a separate crowd of yashmaks and gay-coloured ferajes, 
with black eyes and henna-stained fingers. 

Here it is not the custom for men to notice, much less 
speak to, women in public ; and yet the constant presence 
of Turkish women in the streets and public places, shows 
that they are prone to gad about as much as their Chris- 
tian sisters in America ; but if restricted from the use of 
that little instrument the tongue, they contrive to do con- 
siderable execution with their almond-shaped eyes, inky 
eyebrows, and half-an-alabaster nose, which is all that is 
exposed to view. There was one little beauty in a pink 
feraje, with an extremely thin yashmak, who might have 
been an Odalisque. The rest of them looked like ghouls 
risen from the graves, upon the tomb-stones of which they 
were standing. Most of the grave-yards we had seen 
were much neglected, many of them like open commons, 
the turbaned tomb-stones standing at all angles, and fre- 
quently trampled under foot. 

It was amusing to observe the crowd, like ourselves, 
waiting in patient expectation to see the grand seignor. 
All the soldiers and more respectable people wore panta- 
loons and the red tarbouch ; but the lower classes, ever 
the first to move and the last to be benefited by a revolu- 
tion, adhered to the turban and capacious breeks, with 
a kind of tunic to match. The dervishes were moving 
about with serious faces, wearing faded brown or green 
cloaks, with felt hats, shaped like inverted funnels, upon 
their heads. 


We waited for some time ; and as the Sultan was about 
to appear in public, our imagination pictured the magni- 
ficent entree of a great Ottoman monarch, — troops of 
warriors ; splendidly caparisoned horses, and all the bar- 
baric pomp of an oriental court, — when a low murmur 
indicated that the cortege was approaching. 

First came, walking backwards, the Imaum of the der- 
vishes, in a high green felt hat, swinging a censer filled 
with burning incense, and followed by a grave, melan- 
choly-looking young man, with a rather scanty black 
beard, the red tarbouch upon his head, and wearing a 
blue military frock-coat and fawn-coloured pantaloons ; 
the coat fringed or laced, with a standing collar, — fawn- 
coloured gloves upon his hands, and a short blue cloak 
thrown lightly over his shoulders. It was the Sultan ! 
He was followed, in single file, by six or eight persons, 
attired in blue, some wearing swords, and others carrying 
small leather portfueilles, richly embossed with gold. 

Contrary to expectation, the Sultan had dismounted out- 
side, and his gait, as he passed us, was feeble and almost 
tottering. Indeed, most of the Turks walk what is 
termed "parrot toed," — very much like our Indians. 
Ascending a covered stairway to an upper gallery, with 
windows towards the court, he approached one of them, 
and looked intently down upon us ; but our interpreter 
imprudently exclaiming, " Voila le Sultan ! le Sultan I" 
he turned slowly away, we presume, to his devotions. 

Without the court, were his horses ; splendid steeds, 
caparisoned in richly-embroidered, but chaste saddle- 
cloths, which, as well as the reins and the pommels of 
the saddles, were studded with precious stones ; the head- 
pieces were embossed gold, and the frontlets glittered with 

The Sultan's figure was light, and apparently feeble. 
I thought so when I saw him before, in a semi-obscure 


apartment, and his appearance this day confirmed the 
impression. The expression of his features at the mo- 
ment of passing, was that of profound melancholy. Like 
the Mexican prince, of whom he so much reminded me, 
his mind may be overshadowed by the general and 
spreading opinion, that the Ottoman rule upon the Euro- 
pean side of Turkey is drawing to a close. This impres- 
sion has become so prevalent, that hundreds, when they 
die, direct their remains to be interred on the Asiatic 
side of the Bosphorus. It is sad to think that, from the 
destruction of the Janissaries by Mahmoud to the present 
time, the very advancement of the Turks in civilization 
should increase the weakness, and precipitate the dis- 
memberment, if not the downfall, of the empire ! It was 
a singular scene ! A few ragged Turks in the old turban, 
the only relic of the past ; the mixture of European cos- 
tumes and the red tarbouch ; a company of Christian 
officers, from a far-off land ; the mild-looking young Sul- 
tan, so humble ! so gentle ! with so little parade ! so dif- 
ferent from his haughty Osmanlie ancestors ! And then 
there was a back-ground of veiled women — the ghouls 
peeping out of the grave-yard. 

Our visit to the Seraglio deserves an especial notice, 
not that we saw so much, but that we saw what Franks 
are rarely permitted to look upon. We landed at the old 
kiosk with the green curtains, and exhibiting our firman, 
were permitted to enter the precincts of the Seraglio. 
Serai is the Turkish word for palace, whence this princi- 
pal one of the Sultan's is called, par excellence, the 

Passing through an arched gateway, between files of 
sentinels, we came upon an open space. Near us, on the 
left, looking towards the sea of Marmara, was a large 
caserne or infantry barracks. To the right, crowning the 
elevation of the hill, were the halls of audience, the trea- 


sury, the library, and the kiosk for the entertainment of 
foreign ambassadors. On the declivity of the hill were 
the royal stables, and further beyond, but yet upon the 
slope, looking out upon the sea of Marmara and the Bos- 
phorus, were the royal palaces and harem. Between the 
latter and the wall, which rounds with the sweep of the 
sea, is an extensive court, where the annual caravan to 
Mecca assembles in order that the sovereign and his 
harem may witness its departure. Immediately looking 
upon it, are the windows of the harem, screened with fine 
gilt lattice work. The buildings are oriental, very an- 
cient, and well adapted to the climate. The Turks 
believe, and with some reason, that, in a changeable cli- 
mate, like this, frame houses are drier and healthier than 
those constructed of a more durable material. 

We first visited the barracks, where a large number of 
Turkish soldiers, shaved and dressed like Europeans, ex- 
cept the moustache and the tarbouch, received us with 
the Asiatic salute. With us, and in Europe, the soldier 
touches his cap ; here, they bring the hand first to the lip 
and then to the forehead, with a quick and graceful 
motion. The whole caserne was scrupulously clean, the 
bread dark coloured, but well baked and sweet. The 
colonel, who politely accompanied us, said that the basti- 
nado had been discontinued, on account of its injuring 
the culprit's eyes. Their mode of punishment is now 
similar to our own. 

Before entering the sacred precincts of the Seraglio 
proper, we were required to take off our overshoes, which 
we had donned for the purpose. Turks of both sexes 
wear a loose half-boot of thin morocco, either red or yel- 
low, which fits into a similarly coloured slipper, with a 
hard rounding sole, but open at the heel. The custom 
of throwing off this loose slipper on entering an apart- 
ment, is not so much a superstitious one, as it is a matter 


of absolute necessity in a country where everybody sits 
upon the floor. These palaces are rarely occupied, the 
Sultan usually residing at Beschich Tasch or Cherighan. 

Ascending a broad flight of stairs, we passed at once 
through extensive suites of apartments, furnished in a 
costly but gaudy and tasteless manner. The most modern 
articles of furniture were of French manufacture. Each 
suite consisted of three or four sleeping apartments, two 
baths, two sitting rooms, and a banqueting hall, the latter 
circular, large, and lofty. We passed through a variety 
of saloons and their corresponding apartments, including 
those of the harem. They were but partially furnished. 
In most of them were one or two couches, profusely gilt, 
and covered with golden fret- work — some oblong, and 
some oval. The apartments directly over the court are 
truly beautiful, and command a glorious view of the sea 
of Marmara and the shipping in the Golden Horn. 

The harem looks out both upon the court and the 
water, but to the windows were fitted gilt arabesque grat- 
ings, to screen the sultanas within. What scenes have 
been enacted in these apartments ! What intrigues, mur- 
ders and sewing up in sacks ! Alas, poor woman ! 

Here are marble baths with alabaster fountains, and 
domes thickly studded with glass-lights overhead — the 
bath of the harem ! where many a Circassian form has 
laved ! 

A bath with us signifies a trough of some kind for one 
to get into, but the Turkish bath is different. The mar- 
ble floor of the apartment is highly heated, and hot and 
cold water, flowing through cocks into alabaster basins, is 
thence thrown lavishly upon it. Here you are scraped, 
scrubbed, lathered, and washed off. 

There are two long galleries looking out upon the 
court. Along the inner wall of each, opposite to the lat- 
ticed windows, were a series of engravings, mostly French, 


with but two or three oil paintings. Napoleon must have 
been a great favourite with the reigning monarch when 
the modern engravings were placed in this sensual sanc- 
tuary, for besides a likeness of himself, nearly every one 
portrayed some scene in his eventful career. 

The other gallery was furnished mostly with mere 
daubs — strange to say, naval pieces — in which the most 
outre looking Turkish ships, in most grotesque rig, and 
under most impossible circumstances, were represented as 
triumphant over adversaries more formidable and far 
more frightful than themselves. In the harem there was 
little tangible to feed the imagination, and it was thrown 
back upon the sad associations connected with its myste- 
rious history. 

In one of the palaces is a chair, looking very French 
notwithstanding its Persian embroidery. It is the Sul- 
tan's throne — but nothing more in fact than a large arm- 
chair covered with crimson velvet, embroidered in gold, 
and placed on a semi-circular platform elevated about six 
inches above the floor. Although gorgeous to the eye, it 
is less comfortable than one of those formerly in the east 
room in Washington. 

On one side of most of the rooms were divans, but 
others had only the more modern substitutes of sofas and 
chairs. The cushions of the divans were each one as 
large as a double feather bed, and covered with the 
richest damask or velvet, profusely embroidered. The 
prevailing colours were crimson and blue. The tables, 
with costly covers upon them, were of plain mahogany ; 
the chairs had embroidered backs and seats; but the 
palace and harem being unoccupied, the carpets were up 
and the curtains removed, except one suite, kept always 
in order for the Sultan. The divan, carpet, curtains, 
chairs, sofa, and bed-coverings of this suite, w r ere blue, 
embroidered with silver. 


Passing through a retired garden of the harem, with its 
orangery, its pond of gold-fish, and evergreens cut in most 
fantastic shapes, but not many flowers, we sat for a few 
moments in its kiosk or summer pavilion, and thence pro- 
ceeded to the " hall of ambassadors," in the old palace. 
It was here that, with barbaric pomp, foreign ambassadors 
were received, after going through divers ceremonies, com- 
pared to which, the Chinese Kotan is a reasonable affair. 

When, on such occasions, the proper officer announced 
to the Grand Seignor that the ambassador of one of the 
European powers craved an audience, the reply was, 
" Take the Christian dog, and feed him." When the 
feeding was over, and the second application made, the 
order was given, "Clothe the Christian dog, and bring 
him in." A cloak was then thrown over the shoulders 
of the ambassador, who, previously disarmed, was led 
into the presence, a eunuch holding him on each side. 
The latter custom having originated, it is said, (although 
history is silent upon the subject,) in the assassination 
of a Sultan by an ambassador. At a respectable distance 
the humble representative of a Christian prince was per- 
mitted to state his business, when he was abruptly dis- 
missed to undergo a second feeding. 

Over the ambassadors' gate is written, — 

"The chief of wisdom is the fear of God." 

The old divan upon which the Sultans formerly reclined 
when they gave audience, looks like an overgrown four- 
poster, each post covered with carbuncles of precious 
stones, turquoise, amethyst, topaz, emeralds, ruby, and 
diamond : the couch was covered with Damascus silk and 
Cashmere shawls. Here, we saw the last of the white 
eunuchs ; the present enlightened Sultan having pensioned 
off those on hand, and discontinued their attendance for 


The outer walls of the seraglio are said to cover the 
site of ancient Byzantium, and to be three miles in cir- 
cuit. We had not time to see one-half of what they con- 
tained; but wandered about so much, — up and down 
flights of stairs, through corridors, saloons, baths, sleep- 
ing-apartments, &c, — that we were exceedingly fatigued, 
even when we left the harem. 

We visited the armory, and saw a vast store of muskets, 
pistols and swords, kept in admirable order, besides a large 
collection of Saracenic armour. There were morions and 
shirts of mail ; plate-armour, inlaid with golden verses 
from the Koran ; huge two-handed swords ; gigantic blun- 
derbusses, of every shape and kind ; long, sharp spears, 
and other formidable weapons of war. In a court, were 
several large porphyry tombs, — sarcophagi, it is sup- 
posed, of some of the imperial families of Rome. In an 
extensive, but nearly vacant building, was an abortive 
attempt at a museum. 

Next came the royal stables, in which were about thirty 
stallions, tethered to the ground-floor by their feet, and 
not separated by stalls, as with us. Two or three were 
splendid Arabians — the remainder, ordinary in appear- 
ance. They were kept for state, and rarely used. 

Returning, we should have passed the " Sublime Porte" 
unnoticed, had not our attention been directed to a large 
yellow-arched gateway, with a remarkable turtle-shell- 
like canopy above the entrance. From this gateway, the 
divan or supreme council, which holds its sitting in an 
ordinary building within, is called the " Sublime Porte." 

Crossing the bridge of boats over the Golden Horn, we 
observed a neat little steamer, which had been presented 
to the Sultan by the Pasha of Egypt ; and the former, 
shortly after, was about to pass on board, when, unfortu- 
nately, one of his slippers fell off, and the contemplated 
excursion was instantly abandoned — never to be resumed. 
9 G 


We reached our quarters wearied in body, but exceed- 
ingly gratified. How beautiful is the seraglio ! What 
magnificent structures are the mosques ! How light and 
graceful the minarets ! yet how mean and filthy the 
streets ! what smells ! What numbers of mangy dogs ! 

On Sunday afternoon we strolled along the banks of 
the Bosphorus. There are three Sabbaths in each week, 
one for each religion : Friday, the Muhammedan ; Satur- 
day, the Jew; and Sunday, the Christian. Of all, the 
latter is held most sacred, and the first are becoming less 
and less observant of the injunctions of the Koran, with 
regard to Friday. 

From the brow of a steep hill, we had the great bury- 
ing-ground of Pera beneath us. It is an article of Muslim 
faith, that the soul of a deceased person cannot be ad- 
mitted to Paradise until the body is interred, (unless he 
die in battle) ; hence there is but a brief interval from the 
death-bed to the grave. These densely-crowded burial- 
grounds, in the midst of a populous city, must be exceed- 
ingly detrimental to health. It is related of a boy, deaf, 
dumb and blind, that he fainted from the noxious exhala- 
tions of a grave-yard he was passing, his smell having 
been rendered acute by the deprivation of other senses. 

Although more than half the people we met were 
dressed precisely as in Paris or New York, yet there were 
many curious costumes. The Armenian priest, with his 
long beard and high, square, black cap, from which de- 
pended a coarse black veil, concealing his features; — the 
gay-looking Albanian, with his bright eye and well- 
trimmed moustache ; and stranger than all, the Turkish 
women, shuffling along in slippers, or tottering in high 
wooden clogs, — dressed in bright-coloured ferajes and 
shrouded up to the eyes in the ugly yashmak, giving to 
their sallow complexions a yet more ghastly hue. 

The yashmak is wrapped round the head and brow, 


brought over so as to cover the face down to the eye- 
brows, and again across over the bridge of the nose, giv- 
ing a disagreeable prominence to that feature. Ladies of 
high rank wear the yashmak so thin, as scarcely to con- 
ceal the face more than the finest veil worn by our ladies ; 
but in general it is of a close texture and of a dead white, 
that reminds one of cerements and the grave. 

The feraje is a narrow-skirted cloak of silk or woollen, 
and either purple or a light fancy colour, entirely cover- 
ing the fair incognita, saving a pair of bright yellow 
morocco boots, coming loosely a few inches above the 
ancles, not unfrequently exhibiting streaks of alabaster 
skin above them as they carefully pick their way along 
the muddy streets. 

Emerging from filthy lanes, we came out upon a broad 
avenue leading into the country. On one side was a 
handsome range of barracks ; on the other the parade- 
ground. Among the city offals beyond, more than a hun- 
dred dogs lay crunching. A regiment of soldiers was 
being drilled in the trenches, actually delving and shovel- 
ling with pick and spade for exercise. Up and down the 
promenade might be seen caracoling the handsome steed 
of a Frank or Greek merchant of Pera. Still further on 
was the Armenian burying-ground, resembling a tesselated 
pavement from the number of tombstones or tablets. A 
grave-yard is here a familiar thing, and their general 
condition fully confirms the copper-plate maxim, " Fami- 
liarity breeds contempt." In this one there were no 
cypresses, that tree being consecrated only to the faithful. 

About a mile on this road was a large, rural-looking 
cafe, with a band of music. Round about, a great many 
Franks of both sexes were seated, enjoying pipes and 
sherbet. Although February, they were in the open air. 
It was like our Hoboken in a more genial season. 

Monday. Caiqued up the Bosphorus, a short distance 


beyond the mosque of Victory, to Barbarossa's tomb, of 
which Mr. Dale took a sketch. It is on the water's edge, 
overgrown with moss, and has a large fig-tree beside it. 
Within the tomb is a small mosque, with the same word, 
Wiio (Jehovah), inscribed as on the outside. The court 
was much neglected, and in the rear of the tomb were 
some filthy habitations. An old man told us that there 
was a great person buried beneath, but knew not exactly 
whom. Such is fame ! This tomb commemorates the 
ablest sea-captain of his age, " Chiareddin," who succeeded 
his brother, the celebrated corsair, Barbarossa of Algiers. 
He was the great rival of Doria, and the terror of the 
Christian world. "We then pulled over to Scutari, and 
saw its vast cemetery, shrouded in cypresses, and densely 
paved with grave-stones. It is miles in extent, and in 
all that space there does not seem room for an additional 
tenant. In one place there was a beautiful green lawn, 
where several companies of soldiers were going through 
the exercise. They were dressed in blue, with the red 
cap, and the commander's magnificent charger stood by. 
A group of female spectators seated on a bank, in their 
white yashmaks and gay-coloured ferajes, gave additional 
life to the scene, the whole relieved by a back-ground of 
the melancholy cypress. The drum and fife sounded dis- 
cordant in these gloomy shades. 

Tuesday, Feb. 29. Visited the same convent which we 
had seen the Sultan enter, to witness an exhibition of 
dancing dervishes. Casting off our overshoes, and passing 
through the door, beside which sentries were stationed, 
we took our places within a railing, which ran around the 
circular floor of the mosque. There was a similar gallery 
above. Some thirty dirty-looking dervishes, in faded 
brown and green cloaks, with white felt conical hats 
upon their heads, were prostrate around the circle, while 
the Imaum, the same who had preceded the Sultan, 


chanted a prayer before the mihrab on the eastern side. 
There was music from the gallery, plaintive, yet barba- 
rous, mingled with the occasional tap of a drum. 

After repeated prostrations, at a signal the Imaum led 
the way, in a slow march, round the apartment. As 
each one passed the mihrab, he bowed three times, grace- 
fully, without stopping, or turning his back towards the 
holy place. After marching round three times, making 
the same reverence, they halted with their faces inwards, 
and the Imaum resumed his seat upon his rug before the 
mihrab. The others, all barefooted, crossing their feet 
one after the other, in slow succession, began to twirl 
around, keeping admirable time to the music ; and when 
all in motion, looked like so many teetotums spinning. 
The word spinning conveys a better idea than turning; 
for they seemed to move about without the slightest effort, 
and their flowing garments, flying out in extended circles 
below, gave the movement a most graceful appearance. 
As the music became louder and faster, they spun round 
with increasing rapidity, until the eye became dizzy with 
looking upon them. At a tap of the drum, they stopped 
simultaneously, with no perspiration upon their forehead, 
and neither frenzy nor fatigue expressed in the eye. 
They were of all ages, from the old Imaum, with the 
benevolent features, to a boy of sixteen, whose melan- 
choly face excited interest. Indeed, they all had an air 
of sadness and profound resignation : nothing ferocious, 
nothing sinister, nothing fanatical. Eenewing the march, 
and repeating the prostrations, the exercises continued 
about an hour, and concluded as they began. The 
audience either stood erect, or sat upon the floor, and 
preserved deep silence. The whole affair did not strike 
us in the ridiculous light we had anticipated. Indeed, 
some of the customs of Christianity are equally absurd. 
The religious sentiment is the same all over the world, 


and must find expression. Humanity rejoices, when such 
expression, harmless in itself, as in the present instance, 
neither assails the opinions nor the rights of others. 
Such is the necessity of religion for the support of all 
human institutions, that any form of worship, however 
false and corrupt, is preferable to the atrocious enormities 
which follow in the train of absolute impiety. 

The paganism of Rome, with all its monstrous errors 
and superstitions, even to the human sacrifice, with the 
faint shadow of morality which it inculcated, formed the 
cement and support of the political fabric : and the philo- 
sophy of Epicurus and his followers, by denying the 
superintendence of a Supreme Being, struck at the root 
of all social and political morality, thus undermining the 
ancient institutions of the government, and paving the 
way for an iron and blood-thirsty despotism. 

The gross fables and puerile mythology with which 
mankind had been so long deluded could not resist the 
assaults of sensual infidelity. The last was soon enabled 
to dissipate the shadows that had so long enveloped the 
human intellect, and to burst the bonds of a superstition, 
whose head was hidden in the clouds, and whose foot was 
on the neck of nations. 

But, instead of inculcating a purer system of morals for 
that which had been abolished, and erecting an altar to 
Truth amid the broken shrines of the divinities it had 
dethroned, in the pride of its heart, sensual philosophy 
exalted its own form for the adoration of mankind, and 
by removing all the sanctions of religion — by corrupting 
the motives and inducements to virtue — by stifling all 
the aspirations of the heart, yearning and restlessly striv- 
ing for a higher and purer existence — it unbridled the 
wildest excesses of passion ; it recalled the divine principle 
from its heavenward flight, and bade it seek in pandering 
to the grossest sensuality the proper end and object of its 


being. The result was inevitable. Crime on a gigantic 
scale ensued. Kome grew drunk with blood. Men looked 
with horror upon the present, and to the future with 
despair. One universal night of gloom brooded over her 
empire, and it seemed as if the impious dogma of the 
philosopher had been realized, and that the Deity had 
abandoned man to his fate. The religious sentiment of 
Turkey, misled and faint as it is, is the best protection it 
possesses against such debaucheries as the Saturnalia of 
Rome, or the utter debasements of the Parisian worship 
of the Goddess of Reason. 

March 1. Impatient about the firman, Mr. Carr ad- 
dressed a note to the minister of foreign affairs upon the 
subject. In reply, the latter gave the assurance that 
there would be no difficulty, but that on the contrary the 
Sultan was anxious to promote our views. 

March 2. Went again to St. Stefano, the residence of 
our hospitable minister. In the afternoon there were a 
number of revellers assembled on the village green, danc- 
ing in a circle round a shepherd from Bulgaria, in a sheep- 
skin coat, wool inside, blowing himself red in the face on 
a bagpipe, — a veritable bagpipe, — the people dancing as 
their ancestors did two thousand years ago. 

Spent the evening at Dr. Davis's, with Osman Pasha, a 
German, holding an office in the Turkish army, just re- 
turned from Kurdistan, where he had distinguished him- 
self in quelling a rebellion. There were also Ohannis 
Didian, the Sultan's man of business, Bocas Aga, the rich 
man of the village, his nephew, the Barout ji Bashi (chief 
of powder- works), and several younger Armenians. The 
next evening we spent between Didian's and the Barout 
ji Bashi ; the latter has an immense house with ragged 
retainers lounging about the court and lower rooms. We 
had pipes, coffee, sherbet, and sweetmeats — the latter 
presented by a daughter of fourteen, followed by a very 


pretty daughter-in-law, with the coffee. The master of 
the house hospitable and fussy, — the mistress and daugh- 
ters gorgeously, but badly dressed. When we had par- 
taken of refreshments, exeunt the beautiful visions, with 
the skirts of their dresses tucked in their pockets. The 
Armenians are the great business men of the nation, and 
are believed to be less cunning and more faithful than 
the Greeks. 

Tuesday, March 6. Received the long-expected firman 
from the Grand Vizier. It was addressed to the Pashas 
of Saida and Jerusalem, the two highest dignitaries in 
Syria. It was briefly couched. The following is a literal 
translation : 

"Governors of Saida and Jerusalem ! — Captain Lynch, 
of the American navy, being desirous of examining the 
Dead Sea (Bahr Lut), his legation has asked for him, 
from all our authorities, all due aid and assistance. 

"You will, therefore, on the receipt of this present 
order, give him and his companions, seventeen in number, 
all due aid and co-operation in his explorations. 

" Protect, therefore, and treat him with a regard due 
to the friendship existing between the American Govern- 
ment and that of the Sublime Porte. 

(Signed) "Mustafa Reschid Pasha, 

" Grand Vizier. 
" Mustafa Pasha, Governor of Saida. 
"Zarif Pasha, Governor of Jerusalem. 
"Stambohl, March 7, 1848." 

In half an hour after the receipt of the firman, I was 
on board the French steamer "Hellespont," the rest of 
the party having preceded me. 

For the last time, I gazed up the beautiful Bosphorus, 
its rippling waters and its bold headlands basking in the 
rays of the setting sun. This stream teems with classic 


and historical associations, from the time when Europa 
was borne across in the arms of Jove, to the navigation 
of the Argonauts, and the passage of the Persians under 
Darius. The word "Bosphorus" literally means "Cattle 
Ford," a name now wholly inapplicable, for it is deep 
enough to float a heavy line-of-battle ship. The origin 
of this strait, in connection with that of the Dardanelles, 
has been the subject of much discussion. It was the 
opinion of the ancients, that the Euxine became so 
swollen by the Danube, the Dnieper, the Dniester, and 
other rivers, that it burst through to the Mediterranean. 
But Count Andreossy, French Ambassador to the Porte 
in 1812, discovered indubitable evidence of a great vol- 
canic cataclism at the mouth of the straits. He inferred, 
that this opening of the escarped rocks on the Black Sea 
once made, the waters of the Euxine must have rushed 
into the Propontis, or sea of Marmara, enlarged the Hel- 
lespont to its present width, and thence, expanding over 
an immense plain, have left only the slopes and summits 
of the mountains visible (the present Grecian Archipe- 
lago), and united with the Mediterranean. The parallel 
direction of the Grecian islands, Candia excepted, con- 
firms this theory ; and the longitudinal position of that 
island is accounted for, by the supposition that the waters 
of the flood were deflected by the high mountains of Syria. 

Spent the night on the sea of Marmara. Passed the 
next day in sweeping down the Hellespont, and skirting 
the Phrygian coast, and, on the morning of the 9th, 
rejoined the " Supply." 

Friday, March 10. Sailed from Smyrna for the coast of 
Syria, and passed through the straits of Spalmatori and 
Scio, and by the island of Nicaria (ancient Icaria), named 
after him, whose waxen pinions so signally failed him. 

Monday, March 13. The wind hauled to the southward 
and eastward, and freshened to a gale — a genuine levanter. 

106 scio. 

P. M. The gale increasing, we were compelled to bear up, 
and run for a lee. Scudded through the dark night, and 
in the morning anchored in the bay of Scio. 

In the afternoon, the weather partially moderating, 
visited the shore. From the ship, we had enjoyed a 
view of rich orchards and green fields ; but, on landing, 
we found ourselves amid a scene of desolation — an entire 
city, with all its environs, laid in ruins by the ruthless 
Turks during that darkest hour of Turkish history, the 
massacre of Scio. Invited into one of the dwellings, we 
tasted some Scian wine, and at the same time caught a 
glimpse of a pair of lustrous eyes peering at us from 
above : — the wine was light in colour, and, to our tastes, 
unpalatable ; but the eyes were magnificent. The Greek 
costume differs little from the Turkish, in the capital. 
The tarbouch is higher ; the shakshen (petticoat-trowsers) 
shorter, with leggings beneath. The Greeks are more 
vivacious than the Turks, but much less respected in the 

We rode into the country. Our steeds were donkeys — 
our saddles made of wood ! It was literally riding on a 
rail. What a contrast between the luxuriant vegetation, 
the bounty of nature, and the devastation of man ! Nearly 
every house was unroofed and in ruins — not one in ten 
inhabited, although surrounded with thick groves of 
orange trees loaded with the weight of their golden fruit. 

March 14. Weighed anchor and again endeavoured to 
pass through the Icarian Sea ; but encountering another 
gale, were compelled to bear away for Scala Nouva, on 
the coast of Asia Minor, not far from the ruins of ancient 
Ephesus. While weather-bound, we availed ourselves of 
the opportunity to visit the ruins about ten miles distant. 
There are no trees and very few bushes on the face of 
this old country, but the mountain slopes and the valleys 
are enamelled with thousands of beautiful flowers, among 


which the most conspicuous, from its brilliant colour, is 
the purple anemone (anemone coronaria), one of the lav- 
enders, and known to the ancient Greeks. 

Winding around the precipitous crest of a mountain, we 
saw the river "Cayster" (modern "Meander") flowing 
through an alluvial plain to the sea, and on its banks the 
black tents of herdsmen, with their flocks of goats around 
them. At length turning another point we descried the 
walls of Ephesus, which, according to Strabo, was the 
principal mart of Asia this side of Mount Taurus. 

Climbing over fragments of marble and stone which lay- 
confusedly upon the hill-side, we first came to a ruined 
building on a high elevation to the left, called " St. Paul's 
prison :" crossing a shoulder of the mountain, we beheld 
the ruins of the city, lying dispersedly in the amphi- 
theatre of hills below. It was a sad yet interesting sight. 
First was the theatre, where the town clerk quelled the 
tumult of the silversmiths. It consists of piles of stones, 
of the Grecian era, with arches of brick, evidently Roman. 
This theatre is almost wholly destroyed, and there are 
no seats visible. The inscriptions over the gateway and 
triumphal arches are almost entirely defaced. On the 
east side is a ruined aqueduct, with reversed inscriptions 
of Marcus Aurelius. Amid the tall grass are shafts of 
porphyry columns, one fragment bright and beautifully 

Thence passing some Roman arches on the left, said to 
have been granaries, and crossing a cultivated field, we 
reached the site of the great temple of Diana, covered 
with fragments of columns, pilasters, entablatures, &c, 
which seem to have been crushed where they stood. It 
appears to have been a Doric temple ; some of the columns 
are fluted three and a half inches deep, and they are 
about four feet in diameter. One of the fragments mea- 
sured twenty-nine feet, a part of its capital lying about 


ten feet distant. A corner-stone of a pediment formed a 
striking mass of sculpture, — the whole of white marble, 
mellowed by time, and beautifully cut, particularly an 
exquisite fragment of a lion's head. 

This temple, for its extent, architecture, and decora- 
tion, was esteemed one of the wonders of the world. It 
was 425 feet long, 220 broad, and was supported by 127 
pillars of marble, each seventy feet high. Twenty-seven 
of them were curiously wrought, and the rest exquisitely 
polished. It was planned by Ctesiphon, the architect, 
and was 200 years under construction. It was seven 
times destroyed by fire, once on the same day that Socra- 
tes was poisoned, the last time by Erostratus, on the 
night that Alexander the Great was born ; whence it was 
said that Diana was that night so busy superintending the 
birth of a hero, that she could not protect her own temple. 
It was rebuilt the last time by female contribution. 
Alexander wished to erect it at his own expense, but his 
offer was refused with the nattering remark that it was 
not seemly for one god to contribute to the erection of a 
temple dedicated to another. 

This temple, the metropolitan shrine of all others de- 
dicated to Diana, was near the Ortygian grove and Cen- 
chrian stream, where she and Apollo were reputed to 
have been born of Latona. It was finally destroyed by 
the Goths in the third century. 

The amphitheatre and the stadium, like the theatre 
and the temple, present a surface of marble fragments, 
glittering in the sun-light. To the north-east on the brow 
of a hill, in full view, is the cave of the seven sleepers, 
with the ruins of a chapel adjoining it. 

The seven sleepers were seven brothers professing the 
Christian faith, who, with their dog, were walled up in 
this cave by the emperor Decius. They are fabled to have 
slept 157 years. Their names, and that of their dog, are 


engraved on the rings and amulets of good Muslims, 
and are considered charms against the perils of the sea. 
They are Yemlika, Moksilina, Meslina, Mernoos, Dober- 
noos, Shadnoos, Kastitiyus, and their dog Kitmir. 

The rocks in this vicinity are mostly marble and coarse 
limestone. One part of our road here led through a rocky 
chasm of micaceous mica slate. The mountain precipices 
over Ephesus present the wildest forms, and rise seven or 
eight hundred feet high. Their faces are perforated with 
many quarries, whence, doubtless, was drawn the marble 
for the construction of the city. 

The Turkish village of Ayasalouk, a paltry collection 
of huts, constructed without taste, of the scattering frag- 
ments around, is the forlorn representative of the glories 
of ancient Ephesus. The relics of Gentiles and of Christ- 
ians lie subverted and unknown among the habitations 
of the poor and ignorant herdsmen, just without the ves- 
tibule of the great church of St. John, the first of the 
seven churches of Asia. There is not one Christian among 
them. Before the Muslim village is the noble gateway of 
the once magnificent church. Looking upon the crumb- 
ling walls which once echoed the eloquence of two apos- 
tles, one fears for the " angel of Ephesus" as he recollects 
the awful message, — 

" Or else I come to thee, and will move thy candlestick out of its place, 
except thou do penance." 

Over the massive portal were originally fine basso-relievos, 
now all removed but one. From a cleft in the wall a tree 
shoots up and partly shades the portal within. It is the 
beautiful emblem of faith, springing from and surviving 
the ruins of its earthly temple. 

Passing through the gateway, over columns of porphyry 
and massive fragments of sculptured marble, we came to 
a broad pedestal near the upper end, which must have 


been the site of the grand altar. How it moves the heart 
to its inmost depths to reflect, that before that high altar 
have stood the Beloved Disciple and the Apostle of the 
Gentiles ! In fancy, one hears the tremulous tones of the 
first, as he repeats over and over his favourite exclama- 
tion, " My children, love one another." 

On the southern slope of the hill, near its base, is a 
large marble building, with a dome and turrets, over- 
grown with moss. It is called the "Bishop's Palace," 
and has been converted into a mosque. The stones, with 
inverted inscriptions, prove it to be of comparatively 
modern construction. 

We returned by a different road, striking directly across 
the plain, which lay in front of the ruins of the ancient 
city, and covered a space of three miles in extent. 
Through this extensive plain, which is cultivated in 
patches, amid clusters of the tamarisk and much scatter- 
ing shrubbery, winds the river Cayster, which, from its 
serpentine course, is called the "Meander" — by the 
Turks, the " Lesser Mendere." 

There can be no question that this alluvial plain was 
once a noble bay, and on its shores stood the city of 
Ephesus ; which, according to Pliny, has frequently 
changed its name with its condition. In the Trojan 
war, it was called "Alope;" then "Ortygia," "Morgas," 
"Ephesus;" and now, "Ayasalouk." 

The plain has doubtless been formed by the depositions 
of the river Cayster, in its overflow, and the mountain 
torrents, in the winter season. It seems improbable that 
the city should have been originally built on a mountain 
side, three miles from the sea, with a morass between, 
through which flowed a shallow and insignificant stream. 
The bay of Scala Nouva is annually lessening in depth ; 
and the inhabitants maintain that, within the present gene- 
ration, the land has materially encroached upon the sea. 

Saturday, March 18. While the rest were making 


necessary preparations for a visit to the ruins yesterday, 
I called upon the Governor, who seated me beside him on 
the divan, and entertained me handsomely with pipes, 
sherbet and coffee. This day he returned the visit. 
He was a noble-looking Constantinopolitan, with a fine 
black beard and moustache, and was dressed in a blue 
military frock-coat, with red tarbouch, and a coloured 
kerchief wound around it as a turban. He wore green 
spectacles, and was followed by a long suite, headed by 
his pipe-bearer. Like most other Turks of condition 
whom we had seen, in consequence of taking but little 
exercise, he was quite corpulent, and puffed like a por- 
poise in clambering over the side. He evinced much 
interest in our naval improvements, arms, &c, and was 
exceedingly gratified with the salute we gave him. 

P. M. Some of the Greek fashionables came on board. 
The men were of the soap-lock order : the ladies were 
dressed pretty much as our ladies, except that their 
clothes did not fit well, and nothing seemed exactly in 
good taste. There was much brilliancy, but little clean- 
liness ; — for instance, a dirty hand adorned by a magnifi- 
cent ring, as old as the temple, — perhaps the workman- 
ship of Demetrius himself. We feasted them, and sent 
them on shore rejoicing, and shortly after left the port. 

The town of Scala Nouva (ancient Neapolis) contains 
about 10,000 inhabitants, of whom all are Turks or na- 
tives, except about fifty Greek and ten or twelve Arme- 
nian families. 

This little place exports annually about 150,000 kilos 
of wheat, each kilo weighing sixty pounds ; also a large 
quantity of an inferior kind of maize, or Indian corn. 
This vessel is the first bearing the American flag, which 
has ever entered the port. Why will not some of our 
trading-vessels touch here ? It would doubtless pay well. 
We were assured, but we cannot believe it, that we were 
the first visitors from the New World to the ruins of 


Ephesus. The authorities here do not seem to anticipate 
the necessity of defence. The ancient walls, with their 
projecting turrets, are ungarnished with artillery. 

We obtained here, besides Grecian coins, two antique 
marble heads of Diana, from the ruins of her temple, and 
part of an inscription from the once magnificent church 
of St. John. 

Sunday, March 19. The wind was light, and we ad- 
vanced slowly. Read prayers this day in the Forni 
passage, between Samos and Icaria, in sight of "the 
island which is called Patmos." Samos, the birth-place 
of Pythagoras and of one of the Sibyls, as well as Chios 
and Mitylene, were visited by St. Paul. At night, ob- 
served the eclipse of the moon by the chronometer. 

February 20. All day in sight of Patmos, where St. 
John wrote the Apocalypse. How grateful, yet how awe- 
inspiring, would be a visit to the cave where the Scribe 
of the Almighty dwelt ! 

Patmos is a small, rocky isle, with not a tree visible 
upon it, like most of the islands we have seen. There is 
little cultivation, although a considerable hamlet is seen 
clustering on the hill-side, while a castellated building 
crowns the summit. It is said that the inhabitants are 
supported almost entirely by the proceeds of the sponge 
fisheries along its rocky shores. 

March 21. The wind strong, but adverse — freshened to 
a gale. We were now under the lee of Cos, where, as well 
as at Cyprus and Tyre, the god Phoebus was worshipped. 
This island was also visited by St. Paul, on his way to 
Rhodes. 10 P. M. A fair wind, and a lunar rainbow ! 
Bore away under full sail, leaving Candia broad upon the 

" The lunar rays with long reflection gleam, 
To light our vessel o'er the silvery stream." 

Candia (ancient Crete), once called Macarios (happy 
island), lies across the entrance of the Egean Sea, and is 


nearly equidistant from Europe, Asia, and Africa. In 
early ages, Saturn, the father of Jupiter, reigned here, 
while the latter was nursed secretly among the hills of 
Ida. Here, also, reigned Minos and Rhadamanthus, 
feigned by poets to be the judges in hell. Here, too, is 
the intricate labyrinth made by Daedalus. The inhabit- 
ants of this island were accounted great liars ; hence came 
the term, " a Cretan lie." From one of its ports, Falconer's 
"Britannia" went forth, breasting the lofty surge, — 
" Where'er she moved, the vassal waves were seen 
To yield obsequious, and confess their queen." 

We have passed through the scenes of the "Shipwreck," 
— the only nautical epic that has ever been published, for 
the Voyage of Argonauts is unworthy of the name. 

With a flowing sheet, we sailed past Rhodes and 
Cyprus, — the first famed for its brazen colossus, which 
no longer spans the entrance of the harbour. It was an 
ancient seat of learning, and Cicero and Caesar were 
among the pupils of its school. In more modern times, 
under the Knights of St. John, it was for a long time the 
bulwark of Christendom against the Saracen. 

Cyprus, the " Chittim" of the Old Testament, had in its 
Paphian Grove, a bower erected to the Goddess of Beauty. 
It was captured by the lion-hearted Richard, on his way 
to the Holy Land ; and in yet more recent times, the eccen- 
tric Lady Hester Stanhope was wrecked upon its shores. 
Jews are not permitted to reside on this island. 

Saturday, March 25. This morning the mountains of 
Lebanon are before us — their shadows resting upon the 
sea, while their summits are wreathed in a mist, made 
refulgent by the rays of the yet invisible sun. Brilliant 
as the bow of promise, the many-coloured mist rests like 
a gemmed tiara upon the brow of the lofty mountain. 
Like the glorious sunset on the eve of our departure, I 
hail this as an auspicious omen. 

10* H 



March 25. At 8 A. M. anchored off the town of Beirut, 
and went on shore to call upon the Pasha, who is also a 
Mushir, which, next to the sovereignty, is the highest 
rank in the Ottoman empire. 

Entering the palace, and passing through a suite of 
rooms crowded with attendants, we found the Pasha, in 
the most remote one, seated a la Turque upon an elevated 
divan. Introduced by our consul, I was graciously re- 
ceived, and the usual preliminaries of sherbet, pipes and 
coffee having been discussed, I presented the imperial 
firman. With an air of deep respect he carefully read it, 
and professed his readiness to obey it. 

In making out the instructions to his varions subordi- 
nates in our contemplated route, a singular difficulty was 
presented. He was uncertain whether the eastern side 
of the Jordan was included in his jurisdiction or in that 
of the Pasha of Damascus, with whom, although of an in- 
ferior rank, he was unwilling to interfere. To my sug- 
gestion of sending a messenger to Damascus, he with some 
hesitation confessed that he would not like by such a 
step to betray ignorance of the extent of his jurisdiction. 
We consulted a chart, but as the limits of his pashalic 
were not geographically defined, it threw no light upon 
the subject. We at length ascertained that jurisdiction 
vested in the Pasha of Damascus, and to that functionary 
a messenger was forthwith despatched. 

As this circumstance reflects discreditably upon the 



Pasha, I would omit it, although a feature m the govern- 
ment and condition of the country, but that he was soon 
after recalled, and there is no possibility of his ever seeing 
this recital, or of his interests being affected by it. He 
evinced during the interview much thirst for information, 
and like his master, the Sultan, expressed a wish to know 
the results of our labours. 

The Rev. Eli Smith, of the American Presbyterian 
mission, although in ill health, exerted himself in our 
behalf, and to him we were indebted for securing the ser- 
vices of an intelligent young Syrian, named Ameuny, for 
our dragoman or interpreter. I also engaged an Arab, 
named Mustafa, as cook. The other gentlemen of the 
mission rendered us all the assistance in their power, and 
cheered us with cordial good wishes for our success. 

We received here two pocket chronometers forwarded 
by Dent from London ; and I had the satisfaction of en- 
gaging Dr. Anderson, of New York, as physician and 
geologist, while we should be descending the Jordan, and 
exploring the Dead Sea. 

An English party having been recently attacked, in 
attempting to descend the Jordan, the tribes might yet 
be in an exasperated state, and in the event of gun-shot 
wounds, surgical aid would be indispensable. Lieutenant 
Molyneux, R. N., the commander of that party, having, 
like Costigan, the only man who preceded him, perished 
of fever caught on the Dead Sea, I felt it a duty to secure 
the valuable services of Dr. Anderson. I directed him to 
proceed across the country, to make a geological recon- 
noissance, and to join us, if he could, on the route from 
Acre to Tiberias. 

For the purpose of making some necessary pecuniary 
arrangements, I was introduced by Mr. Smith to a wealthy 
Syrian merchant. When informed of the nature of our 
undertaking, he first said, " It is madness " but the mo- 


ment after, forgetful of the comforts and luxuries around 
him, he turned to me, and, with his soul beaming in his 
eyes, exclaimed, "Oh! how I envy you!" 

Our consul, Mr. Chasseaud, was indefatigable in his 
efforts to facilitate us; and notwithstanding the weather 
was tempestuous, with incessant rain, we were ready at 
the expiration of the first twenty-four hours. H. B. M. 
Consul-General, Colonel Rose, was kind and obliging. 
Besides partaking of his hospitality, I was indebted to 
him for a letter to Mr. Finn, H. B. M. Consul at Jeru- 
salem, — rendered the more acceptable, as our country 
has no representative there. 

Beirut is a Franco-Syrian town, with a proportionate 
number of Turkish officials. The customs of the east 
and of the west are singularly blended, but the races 
remain distinct, separated by difference of complexion 
and of faith. The most striking peculiarity of dress we 
saw, was the tantur, or horn, worn mostly by the wives 
of the mountaineers. It was from fourteen inches to 
two feet long, three to four inches wide at the base, and 
about one inch at the top. It is made of tin, silver, or 
gold, according to the circumstances of the wearer, and 
is sometimes studded with precious stones. From the 
summit depends a veil, which falls upon the breast, and, 
at will, conceals the features. It is frequently drawn 
aside, sufficiently to leave one eye exposed, — in that 
respect resembling the mode of the women of Lima. It 
is worn only by married women, or by unmarried ones 
of the highest rank, and once assumed, is borne for life. 
Although the temple may throb, and the brain be racked 
with fever, it cannot be laid aside. Put on with the 
bridal-robe, it does not give place to the shroud. The 
custom of wearing it, is derived from the Druses, but it 
is also worn by the Maronites. Its origin is unknown ; 
it is supposed to have some reference to the words, 


"the horns of the righteous shall be exalted/' and other 
like passages of Scripture. 

The illimitable sea was upon one side, the lofty barrier 
of the Lebanon on the other, with a highly-cultivated 
plain, all verdure and bloom, between them. But so in- 
dispensably necessary did I deem it to reach the Jordan 
before the existing flood subsided, that no time was 
allowed to note the beauties of the surrounding scene. 
It seemed better to descend the river with a rush, than 
slowly drag the boats over mud-flats, sand-banks, and 
ridges of rock. 

Monday, March 27. At night, got under way ; but the 
wind failing, and a heavy sea tumbling in, we were com- 
pelled to anchor again. 

Tuesday, 28. A. M. The wind light, and adverse, — em- 
ployed in packing instruments, and making all ready for 
disembarkation. 3 P. M. Sailed with a fine breeze from 
the north-west. At midnight, having passed Sidon and 
Tyre, heaved to off the White Cape ("Album Promonto- 
rium" of the Romans, and " Ras-el-Abaid" of the Syrians), 
the north extreme of the bay of Acre. 

At daylight filled away, and the wind blowing fresh, 
sailed past the town of St. Jean d'Acre, its battlements 
frowning in the distance, and anchored under mount Car- 
mel, before the walled village of Haifa. 

With great difficulty I landed through the surf, in 
company with our dragoman and our vice-consul at Acre, 
who had come with us from Beirut. We were in danger 
of perishing, and only rescued by the Arab fishermen 
who came to our assistance. They are bold and dexterous 
swimmers, as much at home in the water as the natives 
of the Sandwich Islands. 

The increasing surf preventing further communication 
with the ship, we proceeded first to Haifa and thence to 
the convent for a bed, for in the miserable village there 


was no accommodation. The first thing in Syria which 
strikes a visitor from the western world, is the absence 
of forest trees. Except the orchards, the mountains and 
the plains are unrelieved surfaces of dull brown and 
green. No towering oak, no symmetrical poplar, relieves 
the monotony of the scene. The sun must surely be the 
monarch of this clime, for, outside the flat, mud-roofed, 
cube-like houses, there is no shelter from his fiery beams. 

The road to the convent led for a short distance through 
an extensive olive orchard, and thence up the mountain 
by a gentle ascent. On the plain, and the mountain side, 
were flowers and fragrant shrubs, — the asphodel, the phea- 
sant's eye, and Egyptian clover. The convent stands on 
the bold brow of a promontory, the terminus of a moun- 
tain range 1200 feet high, bounding the vale of Esdraelon 
on the south-west. The view from the summit is fine. 
Beneath is a narrow but luxuriant plain, upon which, it 
is said, once stood the city of Porphyria.* Sweeping 
inland, north and south, from Apollonia in one direction 
to Tyre in another, with Acre in the near perspective, 
are the hills of Samaria and Galilee, enclosing the lovely 
vale of Sharon and the great battle-field of nations, the 
valley of Esdraelon ; while to the west lies the broad ex- 
panse of the Mediterranean. But the eye of faith viewed 
a more interesting and impressive sight ; for it was here, 
perhaps upon the very spot where I stood, that Elijah built 
his altar, and " the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the 
burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, 
and licked up the water that was in the trench." 

We were cordially received by the monks, " Bon frere 
Charles" in especial, who, as it was Lent, regaled us with 
vegetable soup and fish. 

Within the convent is the celebrated grotto of Elias, 

* The true site of Porphyria is near Sidon. 


with a beautiful marble rotundo in front, and a chaste 
and richly decorated chapel above it. In front of the 
main building is a tent-shaped mausoleum, erected over 
2000 Frenchmen, who, sick, and unable to defend them- 
selves, were massacred by the Turks. The convent was 
then used as a hospital. The word "Carmel" means 
garden. Mount Carmel has been visited by Titus, St. 
Louis, and Napoleon. 

We procured here some of the fossil echini resembling 
chalcedony, in the form of fruit, — petrified, it is said, by 
a curse of the prophet, who was refused some of it by the 
proprietor when he was faint and weary. They are 
nothing more than round hollow pieces of flint, with 
smooth and coloured protuberances within. 

Friday, March 31. Wind changed off shore with a 
smooth sea. Sent to Acre for horses, and hoisted out the 
two " Fannies" and landed them with our effects. Pitched 
our tents for the first time, upon the beach, without the 
walls of Haifa. A grave-yard behind, an old grotto-look- 
ing well (then dry) on one side, and a carob tree on the 
other. This tree very much resembles an apple tree, and 
bears an edible bean, somewhat like the catalpa, which, 
in times of scarcity, is eaten by the poor. It is supposed 
to be the " husk" spoken of in the beautiful and touching 
parable of the prodigal son. Indeed, I have heard orien- 
tal scholars maintain that " husk" is not the proper trans- 
lation of the Hebrew word. The fruit is called (by the 
Christians) St. John's bread, and the tree, which is an 
evergreen, "the locust tree," from the belief that its fruit 
is the locust eaten with wild honey by St. John in the 
desert. For the first time, perhaps, without the consular 
precincts, the American flag has been raised in Palestine. 
May it be the harbinger of regeneration to a now hapless 
people ! 

We were surrounded by a crowd of curious Arabs, of 


all ages and conditions, — their costumes picturesque and 
dirty. The rabble already began to show their thievish 
propensities by stealing the little copper chains of our 
thole-pins. They thought that they were gold. Great 
fun to our sailors putting together the carriages, which 
with the harness were made in New York for the trans- 
portation of the boats. The men were full of jokes and 
merriment, at beginning camp life. Mustafa, the cook, 
prepared our first tea in Palestine. 

We had two tents made of American canvass. They 
were circular, so constructed that the boats' masts an- 
swered as tent-poles to them. The officers occupied the 
small and the men the large one. We had each, officers 
and men, a piece of India-rubber cloth, two yards long, to 
sleep on, and a blanket or comforter to cover us. 

Night came, and the sentries were posted. The stars 
were exceedingly brilliant ; the air clear and cool — 
almost too cool, — and the surf beat in melancholy ca- 
dence, interrupted only by the distant cry of jackals in 
the mountains. These, I suppose, are the foxes whose 
tails were tied together by Sampson. 

Saturday, April 1. A day of tribulation. A little past 
midnight, the tinkling of bells announced the arrival of 
our horses, followed soon after by a screaming conversa- 
tion in Arabic between the dragoman (interpreter) with- 
in our tent and the chief of the muleteers outside. Our 
sleeping was excessively uncomfortable, — what from the 
cold, and the stones on the ground, and the novelty, we 
scarce slept a wink. Some began to think that it was 
not a "party of pleasure," as an illiberal print had 
termed it. 

With the first ray of light, we saw that our Arab 
steeds were most miserable galled jades, and upon trial 
entirely unused to draught. It was ludicrous to see 
how loosely the harness we had brought hung about 


their meagre frames. On trial, as an exhibition of dis- 
content, there was first a general plunge, and then a 
very intelligible equine protest of rearing and kicking. 
After infinite trouble, and shifting the harness to 
more than a dozen horses, we found four that would 
draw, when once started. But the load was evidently 
too much for them. We then chartered an Arab boat, 
to convey the boats, sails, and heavier articles, across 
the bay to Acre. Still, the horses could not, or would 
not, budge ; so that we were compelled to re-launch 
the boats, and send them to the ship, which had sailed 
over, and was then blazing away, returning a salute of 
the town. With a sailor mounted on each of the trucks, 
the horses were at length made to draw them, by dint of 
severe beating. The road along the beach was as firm 
and hard as a floor. About half a mile from our camping- 
place, a branch of the Valley of Esdraelon opened on the 
right, drained by the " Nahr Mukutta" (the river of the 
ford), the Kishon of Scripture, in which Sisera and his 
host were drowned, after their defeat by Deborah and 
Barak, at the foot of Mount Tabor. 

" The river of Kishon swept them away : 
That ancient river, — the river of Kishon." 

It was to the brink of this brook that the 450 prophets 
of Baal were brought from Mount Carmel, and put to 
death by order of Elijah. The half-frightened horses 
dashed into the stream, which they crossed without diffi- 
culty, it being only about eighteen inches deep, and as 
many yards across. Onward we went, occasionally coming 
to a dead halt, rendering necessary, renewed applications 
of the cudgel, — for lighter instruments of persuasion were 
of no avail. 

The road ran along the beach, — in fact, the beach was 
the road, curving gently towards the north, and eventually 
to the west. Passing the wrecks of several vessels, buried 


in the sand, about six miles from the Kishon, we came to 
the river Namaane (Belus), nearly twice as deep and as 
wide again as the first. Pliny says, that near this river 
some shipwrecked Phoenician sailors discovered the mode 
of making glass, by observing the alkali of the dried sea- 
weed that they burned, to unite with the fused silex of 
the shore. Thence, the beach sweeps out into a low 
projecting promontory, on which stands "Akka," the " St. 
Jean d 'Acre" of the Crusades, and the " Ptolemais" of the 
New Testament. 

Akka derived its name from the church of St. Jean 
d'Acre. It has been esteemed the key of all Syria; and 
Napoleon, when he saw it, exclaimed, "On that little 
town hangs the destiny of the East." It checked him in 
his victorious career, and he, who had never known a 
reverse, recoiled before it. An English fleet, a few years 
since, however, proved that it was not impregnable, and 
its walls and bastions are yet in a dilapidated state, but 
they are now being thoroughly repaired and strengthened. 

It being necessary to see the consul and the governor, 
I preceded the party to the town. At the outer gate of 
this fortified stronghold, two or three soldiers were stand- 
ing, and there was a guard-room just within it. I made 
my way, as well as I could, to the house of our consul, to 
which the stars and stripes occasionally beckoned me, as, 
from time to time, I caught a glimpse of them, floating 
above a lofty turret. 

Riding through a mass of masonry, with every conceiv- 
able name in the science of fortification, — through tor- 
tuous, ill-paved streets, and narrow bazaars and covered 
ways, I found myself at the bottom of a " cul-de-sac." 
Dismounting before a low gateway, flanked by a gallery 
of blank walls, ascending a stone stairway, and passing 
through courts and ruined buildings, I reached the consul's 
house, and was in a few moments seated on his divan. 


Had I not been in so much anxiety about our opera- 
tions, the whole scene upon my entrance into St. Jean 
d'Acre would have been exceedingly interesting. It is 
the strangest-looking place in the world, besides its being 
so renowned from the days of chivalry to the English 
bombardment. Perhaps no other town in the world could 
have stood the hurtling of the iron hail-storm as well. 
In some places, but comparatively few in number, there 
were chasms, showing where a cannon-shot had passed ; in 
others, the shot had formed a lodgment, and remained a 
fixture ; and in others, again, had only made an indenta- 
tion and fallen to the ground. 

A short distance within the gate was a narrow bazaar, 
roughly paved, about two hundred yards in length, with 
small open shops, or booths, on each side. They only 
exhibited the common necessaries of life for sale. A short 
distance farther, opposite to the inner wall, was a line of 
workshops, mostly occupied by shoemakers. These, with 
a few feluccas in the harbour, presented the only indica- 
tions of commerce. 

In the walls of our consul's castellated bomb-proof 
house several shot were lodged ; and in the court I stum- 
bled over broken bomb-shells and fragments of masonry. 
From the flat terrace roof we looked down upon number- 
less neighbours : women with golden hair-ornaments and 
ragged trousers, — for they were too large to be called 
pantalettes. There was, on an adjoining terrace, a young 
girl with a glorious profusion of curling tresses, which, 
from beneath a golden net-work on her head, fell grace- 
fully down upon her dumpy form. Besides a boddice, or 
spencer, she wore a short pelisse and full trousers, which, 
to say the least, were rather the worse for wear. I 
should have admired the dark, wild-looking eye and the 
luxuriant hair, had it not been whispered to me that in 
the morning her beautiful head was seen undergoing a 


more critical examination than would be necessary with 
one of our fair countrywomen. 

The consul having prepared himself, we went forth to 
seek the governor, who, with his suite, had gone outside 
the walls. There were few people in the streets, but I 
noticed that the turban was more generally worn than in 
Beirut, Smyrna, or Constantinople. Civilization has 
scarce landed upon these shores ; and in Syria, we may 
look for more unadulterated specimens of the Muslim 
character than in the capital of the empire. 

We found the governor just without the gate, seated in 
the most democratic manner, against the side of a thatched 
hut, a cafe, I believe. He received us courteously, and 
we were immediately provided with seats. It was a 
singular place of audience, and contrasted strangely with 
the sparkling gem upon the finger of the governor, the 
amber mouth-piece of his chibouque encircled with dia- 
monds, and the rich dresses and jewel-hilted swords of 
some of his officers : but I liked it ; there was no pre- 
tension or parade, and it looked like business ; moreover, 
it had a republican air about it that was gratifying. 

In this public place, the parley was held, and the 
horses that he had furnished were abused in unmeasured 
terms. His officers and ourselves were seated upon stools 
and benches ; the attendants were in front, and the rabble 
stood around and listened to the talk. 

Said Bey, the governor, is about forty-five years of age. 
He is a Syrian by birth, an Egyptian by descent, and 
almost a mulatto in complexion. He was dressed in 
plain blue pantaloons and a long blue surtout, and wore 
a black beard and the red tarbouch. His countenance 
indicated cunning, if not treachery. The crowd seemed 
to be on such familiar terms with their superiors as 
would have been edifying to the citizens of some of our 
own states at home. 


In brief terms, I told the governor how worthless the 
horses proved which he had sent. He professed his deep 
sorrow, but asked what could he do, for there were none 
better to be procured. I then proposed oxen, but he 
stated that it was then the height of seed-time, and that 
without great injury to the husbandmen he could not 
take them. This was confirmed by our dragoman and a 
Syrian gentleman, a Christian convert, educated by the 
missionaries at Beirut. Of course, although burning with 
anxiety to proceed, I would not consent to profit by an 
act of injustice. From the governor's manner, however, 
I suspected that he was coveting a bribe, and determined 
to disappoint him. 

Assuming a high stand, I told him that we were there 
not as common travellers, but sent by a great country, 
and with the sanction of his own government : — that I 
called upon him to provide us with the means of trans- 
portation, for which we would pay liberally, but not ex- 
travagantly. That his own sovereign had expressed an 
interest in our labours, and if we were not assisted, 
I would take good care that-the odium of failure should 
rest upon the shoulders of Sa'id Bey, governor of Acre. 
By this time a great concourse of people had gathered 
'around, and he said that he would see what could be 
done, and let me know in the course of the evening. 

The " Supply" had in the mean time weighed anchor, 
and stood close in shore to land the provisions and things 
sent back in the morning. The boats of the expedition 
had also arrived, as well as the trucks drawn round the 
beach. The governor and his officers came to look at 
them, followed by nearly the whole population of the 
town. Such a mob ! such clamour and confusion ! I re- 
quested the governor to employ the police to clear a place 
for us to pitch our tents upon the beach. He did so im- 
mediately, but it was of no avail ; for the crowd, driven 


off at one moment, returned the next, more clamorous 
than before : and he confessed that he had not power to 
prevent the townspeople from gratifying their laudable 
desire for information, — not to speak of acquisition, for 
they are notorious thieves. But for its vexation, the 
scene would have been very amusing. In the midst of 
this Arab crowd were many women, with coloured trow- 
sers and long coarse white veils ; and sonie stood in the 
grave-yard immediately behind us, in dresses, veils and 
all, of common check, black and white. 

Finding it utterly impossible to land our effects and 
encamp in this place, we returned and pitched our tents 
on the southern bank of the Belus. But even here the 
crowd followed us, evincing a curiosity only to be equalled 
by our own brethren of the eastern states. Since the 
authorities could not or would not protect us, we deter- 
mined to take the law into our own hands and protect 
ourselves, and accordingly posted sentinels with fixed 
bayonets to keep off the crowd. Jack did it effectually, 
and the flanks of two or three bore witness to the " capa- 
ble impressure" of the pointed steel ; after which we were 
no more molested. We then hauled the boats up to a 
small green spot beside the river, and a short distance 
from the sea. Behind us was the great plain of Acre. 
While thus engaged, some Arab fellahin (peasants) passed 
us, their appearance wild, and their complexions of the 
negro tint. 

With conflicting emotions we saw the " Supply," under 
all sail, stand out to sea. Shall any of us live to tread 
again her clean, familiar deck ? What matters it ! We 
are in the hands of God, and, fall early, or fall late, we 
fall only with his consent. 

Late in the afternoon, I received an invitation from 
Said Bey to come to the palace. Ascending a broad 
flight of steps, and crossing a large paved court, I was 


ushered into an oblong apartment, simply furnished, with 
the divan at the farther end. I was invited to take the 
corner seat, among Turks the place of honour. Imme- 
diately on my right, was the cadi, or judge, a venerable 
and self-righteous looking old gentleman, in a rich cash- 
mere cloak, trimmed with fur. On his right sat the 
governor. Around the room were many officers, and 
there were a number of attendants passing to and fro, 
bearing pipes and coffee to every new comer. But, what 
specially attracted my attention, was a magnificent savage, 
enveloped in a scarlet cloth pelisse, richly embroidered 
with gold. He was the handsomest, and I soon thought 
also, the most graceful being I had ever seen. His com- 
plexion was of a rich, mellow, indescribable olive tint, 
with glossy black hair; his teeth were regular, and of 
the whitest ivory ; and the glance of his eye was keen 
at times, but generally soft and lustrous. With the tar- 
bouch upon his head, which he seemed to wear uneasily, 
he reclined, rather than sat, upon the opposite side of the 
divan, while his hand played in unconscious familiarity 
with the hilt of his yataghan. He looked like one who 
would be 

" Steel amid the din of arms, 
And wax when with the fair." 

Just as we were seated, an old marabout entered the 
room, and, without saluting any one, squatted upon the 
floor and commenced chanting verses from the Koran. 
He had a faded brown cloak drawn around him, and a 
dingy, conical felt hat, such as is worn by the dervishes, 
upon his head. His whole person and attire were ex- 
ceedingly filthy, and his countenance unprepossessing in 
the extreme. The company sat in silence while he con- 
tinued to chant verse after verse in a louder and yet 
louder tone. At length the governor asked the cause of 
the interruption, but received no answer ; save, that the 

128 A SANTON. 

last word of the verse which the madman or impostor was 
reciting at the moment was sent forth with a yell, and 
the next verse commenced in a shriller key than the one 
which had preceded it. The whole council (for such I 
suppose it may be called) now resigned itself to the inflic- 
tion ; and, with a ludicrous, apologetic air, the cadi whis- 
pered to me, " It is a santon !" 

At length the marabout paused for want of breath, and 
the governor repeated his former question. This time 
there was a reply, and a very intelligible one. He 
wanted charity. A sum of money was directed to be 
given to him, and he took his departure. Surely this is 
a singular country ! Such an importunate mode of beg- 
ging I never saw before, although I have been in Sicily. 
I relate the circumstance, with no farther comment, 
exactly as it occurred. 

When we were again quiet, the governor stated that 
since he had parted with me he had received the most 
alarming intelligence of the hostile spirit of the Arab 
tribes bordering on the Jordan, and pointed to the savage 
chief as his authority. He named him 'Akil Aga el 
Hassee, a great border sheikh of the Arabs. The 
governor proceeded to say that the "most excellent 
sheikh" had just come in from the Ghor, where the tribes 
were up in arms, at war among themselves, and pillaging 
and maltreating all who fell into their hands. He was, 
therefore, of opinion that we could not proceed in safety 
with less than a hundred soldiers to guard us ; and said 
that if I would agree to pay twenty thousand piastres 
(about eight hundred dollars), he would procure means 
for the transportation of the boats, and guaranty us from 

He could not look me in the face when he made this 
proposition, and it immediately occurred to me that the 
Bedawin sheikh had been brought in as a bugbear to in- 

AK.IL aga, 


timidate me into terms. This idea strengthened with 
reflection, until I had reached a state of mind exactly the 
reverse of what Sa'id Bey anticipated. 

The discussion lasted for some time, the governor, the 
cadi, the sheikh, and others, whose names and rank I did 
not know, urging me to accept the offer. This I posi- 
tively declined, stating that I was not authorized, and if 
I were would scorn to buy protection : that if draught 
horses could be procured or oxen furnished, I would pay 
fairly for them and for a few soldiers to act as scouts ; but 
that we were well armed and able to protect ourselves. 

Finally, the governor finding that I would not embrace 
his terms, although he mitigated his demand, urged me 
to abandon the enterprise. To this I replied that we 
were ordered to explore the Dead Sea, and were deter- 
mined to obey. 

He then advised me, with much earnestness, to go by 
the way of Jerusalem. As he was too ignorant to under- 
stand the geographical difficulties of that route, I merely 
answered that we had set our faces towards the Sea of 
Galilee, and were not disposed to look back. 

The sheikh here said that the Bedawin of the Ghor 
would eat us up. My reply was that they would find us 
difficult of digestion ; but as he might have some influ- 
ence with the tribes, I added that we would much prefer 
going peaceably, paying fairly for all services rendered 
and provisions supplied • but go at all hazards we were 
resolutely determined. Here the conference ended, it 
having been prolonged by the necessity of conversing 
through an interpreter, which had, however, this advan- 
tage, that it gave me full time to take notes. 

Without the court I overtook the sheikh, who had pre- 
ceded me, and asked him many questions about the tribes 
of the Jordan. In the course of the conversation I 
showed my sword and revolver — the former with pistol 



barrels attached near the hilt. He examined them 
closely, and remarked that they were the " devil's inven- 
tion." I then told him that we were fifteen in number, 
and besides several of those swords and revolvers, had 
one large gun (a blunderbuss), a rifle, fourteen carbines 
with bayonets, and twelve bowie-knife pistols, and asked 
him if he did not think we could descend the Jordan. 
His reply was, " You will, if anybody can." After part- 
ing from him, I learned that he was last year at the head 
of several tribes in rebellion against the Turkish govern- 
ment, and that, unable to subdue him, he had been 
bought in by a commission, corresponding to that of 
colonel of the irregular Arabs (very irregular!), and a 
pelisse of honour. It was the one he wore. 

It was now near nightfall and the gates were closed ; 
I therefore accompanied our consul to his house for re- 
freshment and a bed, for I had eaten nothing since early 
in the morning. It was a great disappointment to me to 
be separated from the camp ; for, apart from the wish to 
participate in their hardships, I was anxious to consult 
with Mr. Dale, who had cheered me throughout the day 
by his zealous co-operation. 

On reaching the consul's, I was told that some Ameri- 
can travellers from Nazareth had called to see me in my 
absence, and were to be found at the Franciscan Convent. 
Thither, I immediately hastened, anxious alike to greet 
a countryman, and to gather information, for Nazareth 
was nearly in our contemplated line of route. 

They proved to be Major Smith, of the United States' 
Engineers, an esteemed acquaintance, and Mr. Sargents, 
of New York, together with an English gentleman. Their 
account confirmed the rumour of the disturbed state of the 
country, and they had themselves been attacked two 
nights previous, at the foot of Mount Tabor. 

I can give a very inadequate idea of my feelings. To 


turn back, was out of the question ; and my soul revolted 
at the thought of bribing Said Bey, even if I had been 
authorized to spend money for such a purpose. I felt 
sure that he had exaggerated in his statement, and yet 
the attack on our countrymen, so far this side of the Jor- 
dan, staggered me. Had my own life been the only one 
at stake, I should have been comparatively reckless ; but 
those only can realize what I suffered, who have them- 
selves felt responsibility for the lives of others. 

From all the information I could procure of the Arab 
character, I had arrived at the conclusion, that it would 
tend more to gain their good-will if we threw ourselves 
among them without an escort, than if we were accom- 
panied by a strong armed force. In my first interview 
with Sa'id Bey, therefore, I only asked for ten horsemen, 
to act as videttes, which, under the impression that they 
would be insufficient, he so long hesitated to grant, that I 
withdrew the application, and resolved to proceed with- 
out them. He afterwards pressed me to take them, and, 
calling upon me at the consul's, offered to furnish them 
free of cost ; but I was steadfast in refusal. 

The attack upon our countrymen, however, indicated 
danger of collision at the very outset, and I determined 
to be prepared for it. 

On leaving the " Supply," I had placed a sum of money 
in charge of LieutenantrCommanding Pennock, with the 
request, that he would, in person, deliver it to H. B. M. 
Consul at Jerusalem. Partly for that purpose, and in 
part to make some simultaneous barometrical observa- 
tions, he had sailed for Jaffa, which is about thirty miles 
distant from the Holy City. To him, therefore, I des- 
patched a messenger, asking him to call upon the Pasha, 
and request a small body of soldiers to be sent to meet us 
at Tiberias, or on the Jordan. This precaution taken, 
my mind was at ease, and, indeed, I was half ashamed of 


the previous misgivings ; for, from the first, I had felt 
that we should succeed. 

In the camp, the day passed quietly. At one time, 
there was a perfect fete around it, — pedlers, fruit- 
sellers, and a musician with a bagpipe, who seemed to sing 
extemporaneously, like the Bulgarian, at San Stefano. 
At length, the crowd becoming troublesome, a space was 
cleared around the encampment, and lines of demarcation 
drawn. Crosses were then made at the corners, which, 
from some superstitious feeling, the people were afraid 
to pass. 

In the evening, at the consul's, we received many 
visitors, scarce any three of whom were seated, or rather 
squatted, in the same attitude. There is no part of the 
world I have ever visited, where the lines of social dis- 
tinction are more strictly drawn than here. In the pre- 
sent instance, the highest in rank were squatted, a, la 
Turque, with their heels beneath them, upon the divan. 
The next in grade were a little more upright, in a half 
kneeling attitude ; the third, between a sitting posture 
and a genuflexion, knelt with one leg, while they sat 
upon the other ; and the fourth, and lowest I saw, knelt 
obsequiously, as if at their devotions. It was amusing 
to see the shifting of postures on the entrance of a visitor 
of a higher rank than any present ; — when the squatters, 
drawing themselves up, assumed a more reverential atti- 
tude, and they who had been supported on one knee, 
found it necessary to rest upon two. 

I was particularly struck with these evolutions, on the 
entrance of a fine old man, an Arab nobleman, called 
Sherif Hazza of Mecca, the thirty-third lineal descendant 
of the Prophet. He was about fifty years of age, of a dark 
Egyptian complexion, small stature, and intelligent fea- 
tures. His father and elder brother had been sherlfs, or 
governors of Mecca until the latter was deposed by Me- 


hemet Ali. He was dressed in a spencer and capacious 
trousers of fine olive cloth. His appearance was very 
prepossessing, and he evinced much enlightened curiosity 
with regard to our country and its institutions. We were 
told that from his descent he was held in great veneration 
by the Arabs ; and I observed that every Muhammedan 
who came in, first approached him and kissed his hand 
with an air of profound respect. He was as communi- 
cative about his own affairs as he was inquisitive with 
respect to us and our country. Finding that he was 
now doing nothing, but inactively awaiting the decision 
of a law-suit, I suddenly proposed that he should accom- 
pany us. At first he smiled, as if the proposition were 
an absurd one ; but when I explained to him that, instead 
of a party of private individuals, we were commissioned 
officers and seamen, sent from a far distant but powerful 
country to solve a scientific question, he became interested. 
I further added that, with us, I knew he believed in 
the writings of Moses ; and that, with solutions of scien- 
tific questions, we hoped to convince the incredulous that 
Moses was a true prophet. He listened eagerly, and after 
some farther conversation, rose abruptly, and saying that 
he would very soon give me an answer, took his depar- 
ture. I had, in the mean time, become very anxious ; 
for it seemed as if he had been providentially thrown in 
our way. But it was necessary to conceal my feelings, 
for it is the nature of this people to rise in their demands 
in exact proportion to the anxiety you express ; and even 
if he were to consent to accompany us, he might rate his 
services at an exorbitant price. 

Sooner even than, in my impatience, I had anticipated, 
he returned and accepted the invitation, shaming my 
previous fears of imposition by saying that he left the 
remuneration of his services entirely to my own appraise- 
ment. He also brought a message from 'Akil, the 


handsome savage, to the purport that Sa'id Bey was a 
humbug, and had been endeavouring to frighten me. 
Sherif thought it not unlikely that the shiekh might also 
be induced to accompany us, if the negotiation were con- 
ducted with secresy. 

This Sa'id Bey is an instance of the vicissitudes of 
fortune in the Ottoman empire. Holding an office under 
Ibrahim Pasha, when the Egyptians were in possession 
of the country, he was detected in malpractices ; and at 
the restoration of Acre to the Turks, was found in 
chains, condemned to labour for life. He now walks as 
master through the streets which he formerly swept. 
When the company had retired, the consul, " on hospitable 
cares intent," being a bachelor, superintended in person 
the preparation of my bed. Among other things, he had 
spread upon it a silk sheet, soft and fine enough to deck 
the artificial figure of a city belle, and sufficiently large 
for the ensign of a sloop-of-war. 

Although the couch was luxurious, the balm of refresh- 
ing sleep was long denied, and for hours I laid awake and 
restless, for I was not alone — the fleas were multitudinous 
and remorseless. 

There seemed to be no alternative but to take the boats 
apart and transport them across in sections, unless 
camels could be made to draw in harness, and I deter- 
mined to try the experiment. During the night, I suf- 
fered dreadfully from the nightmare, and the incubus was 
a camel. 

Sunday, April 2. In the afternoon, when the religious 
exercises of the day were over, the experiment of sub- 
stituting camels for draught horses was tried and proved 
successful ; and my heart throbbed with gratitude as the 
huge animals, three to each, marched off with the trucks, 
the boats upon them, with perfect ease. 

The harness, all too short, presented a fit-out more gro- 



tesque even than that of a diligence in an interior pro- 
vince of France ; but, with alterations, it answered the 
purpose, and we felt independent of Said Bey, for camels, 
at least, could be had in abundance. Determined, there- 
fore, not again to have recourse to the grasping governor, 
I contracted with Sa'id Mustafa, a resident of the town, 
for the necessary number of camels and horses. 

The first attempt to draw the trucks by camels was a 
novel sight, witnessed by an eager crowd of people. The 
successful result taught them the existence of an unknown 
accomplishment in that patient and powerful animal, 
which they had before thought fit only to plod along with 
its heavy load upon its back. 

The qualities of the camel, uncouth and clumsy as he 
is, are scarcely appreciated in the East, or he would be 
more carefully tended. It is a matter of surprise that the 
Komans never employed them. Porus used them against 
Alexander, and the Parthians against Crassus ; but, I be- 
lieve, as far as history tells, the Komans never employed 
them in warfare, nor in any manner as means of trans- 

Monday, April 3. We were moving betimes, packing 
up and waiting for the camels to transport our baggage, 
the boats having gone ahead. After many vexatious 
delays, made a start at 2.30 P. M., but soon after two of 
the camels breaking down, we were compelled to camp 
again. While Mr. Dale was getting the camp in order, I 
rode out into the plain after the boats and a part of the 
caravan which had gone ahead with the bedding. About 
five miles from town I overtook them and turned them 
back. As the sun sank beneath the Mediterranean, 
which lay boundless as the view to the west, the moun- 
tains and the plain presented a singular appearance. 

At times, from the mountains to the sea the land was 
entirely concealed by mist, which condensing as the heat 


decreased, had the effect of a mirage, and seemed to ex- 
tend the plain as far in one direction as the sea did in 
another, and made them one illimitable green, except 
where large spots of the surface were decked with the 
daisy, the anemone, and the convolvulus, which, inter- 
mingling in beautiful contrast, presented a mosaic of 
emerald, ruby, turquoise and gold. 

Here and there, scattered upon the plain, were conical- 
shaped green tents, with tethered horses feeding near 
them; some of the last, belonging to the Pasha, were 
beautiful Arabians, exceedingly quick and graceful in 
their movements. 

Just without the town we met the Bedawin sheikh 'Akil, 
who handed me a letter sent by express from our consul 
at Beirut. The sheikh, on his way to Abelin, one of his 
villages, was kind enough to be the bearer of the letter. 
It contained the required firman from the Pasha of Da- 
mascus. 'Akil was dressed in the same scarlet cloak, 
flowing white trowsers, and red tarbouch and boots as in 
the council two days previous. He was mounted on a 
spirited mare, and long after our parting I could see his 
scarlet cloak streaming in the wind as he scoured across 
the plain. 

We camped on the same spot we had occupied the two 
preceding days, and were soothed with the promise of 
having a sufficient number of camels in the morning. 
The sherif paid us a visit and promised to join us on the 
route, as he feared that Said Bey would detain him if he 
heard of our engagement. The son of Dr. Anderson had 
come with us from Beirut, and proposed remaining at Acre 
until he heard from his father, and with him I left the 
following letter for the Doctor, in the event of our not 
meeting for some time : 

" Dear Sir : — Having at your request associated you 
in the expedition under my command, with the express 


understanding that you are to make no communication, 
verbal or otherwise, of the labours or results thereof, of 
yourself or any member pertaining to it, save to myself 
officially, until relieved from the obligation by the Hon. 
Secretary of the Navy, I beg leave to name a few points, 
in the elucidation of which, I believe, as well as hope, 
that you can materially aid us. 

" The geological structure and physical phenomena of 
the shores of the Dead Sea and the terraces of the Jordan, 
and if time permit, of the ranges of the Lebanon also, 
constitute in their investigation one of the most interest- 
ing and important objects of the expedition. 

" The volcanic phenomena of the Dead Sea require the 
strictest investigation, that in connexion with a line of 
soundings by the surveying party, the presumed fault 
running north and south through it may be verified or 

"It is desirable to obtain mineralogical specimens, to 
ascertain if the surrounding regions be volcanic, and for 
the future purpose of comparing them with similar speci- 
mens from Vesuvius or some modern active volcano, in 
order to ascertain whether or not modern volcanic pro- 
ductions differ from more ancient ones. 

" The nature of the soil, on the eastern shore especially, 
as formed by disintegration, and the nature of the vege- 
tation as connected with it, are points of useful enquiry. 

" The soil in which grapes of such extraordinary size 
are said to grow should be collected for analysis, to ascer- 
tain if the chemical composition has any influence on the 
size of the fruit. 

"In a minute examination for volcanic characters, 
parts of the eastern coast may be found to consist of ba- 
saltic rocks, with a crystalline structure, perpendicular 
to the surface, and disintegrating in such a manner as to 
present perpendicular cliffs. Trap rocks may be found 


cropping out through other rocks, more or less homoge- 
nous in their appearance, with small disseminated crys- 
tals sometimes magnetic. The dark basaltic rock is (said 
to be) frequent near Tiberias. Kocks containing fossils 
claim particular attention, and as many varieties of fossils 
should be collected as possible. 

" Specimens of mud from various parts of the sea, river 
and lake, should be collected and placed in air-tight 

" It is said that the mountains of the west coast consist 
principally of a bituminous limestone, which inflames, 
smokes, and is foetid.* Lumps of sulphur as large as a 
walnut have been found at Ain el Feshkha. On the west 
coast small fragments of flint, flesh red and brown, have 
also been found; and on the banks of the Jordan, nearly 
opposite Jericho, rolled pebbles of white carbonate of lime 
with thin veins of quartz. 

"Although not immediately within your province, I 
invite your attention to Cochlage and Conchaae. Speci- 
mens of any species of crustacsea, even the most minute, 
are very desirable. 

" It is most important to ascertain whether birds live 
on the shores, or fish within the depths, of the Dead Sea ; 
and not less, to note carefully every stream and fissure, 
their direction and their depth, and to ascertain, if pos- 
sible, whether the former are perpetual, or only tempo- 
rary, torrents. 

66 It is not my intention to limit your inquiries, or to 
pretend to instruct you, on a subject wherein you are so 
much better informed than myself; but to give you an 
idea of the general range of investigation, deemed most 
advisable to attain a satisfactory result. 

"H. J. Anderson, M. D." 

* Robinson and Smith. 



Tuesday, April 4. The daylight brought disappoint- 
ment. As Said Mustafa was not to be found, I sent the 
dragoman to our consul, requesting him to call imme- 
diately upon the governor, and demand more camels; for 
I had determined that I would not, under any circum- 
stances, again present myself before him. By 8 o'clock, 
two additional camels arrived, and, at 9 o'clock, we took 
up the line of march after the boats, — sixteen horses, 
eleven loaded camels, and a mule. 

As we were starting, Sa'id Bey had the effrontery to 
send to me for a letter, stating that he had rendered all 
the services I had required. I sent him word in reply, 
that he had done nothing to assist us ; and that of his 
gross attempt at extortion, I had apprised our govern- 
ment at home, our minister at Constantinople, and his 
superior, the Mushir, at Beirut. 

Following the beach to within two hundred yards of 
the town, we turned off to the east, and skirted a hill, 
whence, on the left, we saw an aqueduct, and the 
garden of Abdallah Pacha, — a grove in the midst of a 
verdant, but treeless plain. Pursuing the same route 
taken the evening before, we crossed the great plain 
of Acre, enamelled with flowers, and struck into a rolling 
country of gentle undulations. Besides the profusion of 
flowers, a stunted tree was here and there presented. 



The evening before, I had promised 'Akll to visit him 
in his mountain fortress, if I could, and one of his followers 
now presenting himself as a guide, we rode ahead of the 
caravan. The village of Abelin was soon visible on the 
summit of a high hill, rising abruptly from the southern 
slope of the plain. To the east and south-east, in the far 
distance, were two other villages ; all else was a nearly 
level plain, with broken ground in front. Kiding over 
the shoulder of the hill, we opened upon the head of a 
ravine, — wide at first, but narrowing to a gorge as it 
descended, and swept around the bases of the hills. 
Crowning the one opposite, Abelin* looked like an inac- 
cessible lion's hold. I had been cautioned to be upon my 
guard; knew nothing of 'Akll, except that he was a 
daring Arab chief; had never before seen my guide, and 
was uncertain whether he would prove treacherous or 
faithful. I had accepted the invitation, for I was anxious 
to prevail on 'Akil also to accompany us, and I felt that 
it would not answer to show distrust. To guard against 
the worst, however, I gave to a fellah, whom we met, a 
note for Mr. Dale, directing him, if I should not return, 
to push on, without delay, and accomplish the objects of 
the expedition. 

The steep rugged path had never before been trodden 
by any other than an Arab horse ; and but that the one 
upon which I rode was singularly surefooted, he would 
have often stumbled and dislodged me, for I could not 
guide him, so much were my senses engrossed by the ex- 
traordinary variety, fragrance, and beauty of innumerable 
plants and flowers. 

The village, perched upon the loftiest peak, commands 

* Can this village take its name from the district of Abilene, mentioned 
in the third chapter of St. Luke, and of which Lysanias was the tetrarch ? 
It is generally supposed, that the district was in another direction. 


an extensive view from the "Album promontorium" to 
the Convent of Mount Carmel. But, if the situation be 
beautiful, the place itself is indescribably poor and filthy. 
The houses, built of uncemented stones, are mostly one 
story high, and have flat, mud roofs ; and without, and 
encircling the whole, is a row of small, dome-roofed 
hovels, made entirely of mud, and used for baking bread ; 
all enveloped in a most offensive atmosphere, tainted by 
the odour of the fuel, — the dried excrement of camels. 
There appeared to be as many as one of those little hovels 
to each dwelling. 

After having been detained in an open court until I be- 
came impatient, I was ushered into a large room, open in 
front, with a mud floor and smoke-stained rafters, covered 
with twigs. A collection of smouldering embers was 
in the centre, stuck into which, a small and exceedingly 
dirty brass coffee-pot stood simmering ; and, seated at the 
farther end, a short distance from it, were the Sherif, 
'Akil, and a number of Arabs, armed to the teeth. I had 
parted with the first, at a late hour the previous evening, 
when he started for Haifa, ten miles in another direction ; 
and how he could have come there, puzzled me. 

For some moments, scarce a word was said ; and, from 
inability to speak the language, I could not break the 
awkward silence, having left the interpreter with the 
train, where his services were necessary. 

There were some twelve or fifteen present. Look 
where I would, their keen black eyes were riveted upon 
me ; and wherever I turned my eyes, theirs immediately 
followed the same direction. I turned to Sherif, in the 
hope that he would say something, which would have been 
cheering, although I could not understand his language ; 
but, lost in thought, he seemed to be studying the geolo- 
gical structure of the lighted coal upon the bowl of his 
narghile. To 'Akil I made a friendly sign of recognition, 


which was returned without rudeness, but without cor- 
diality. My position began to be irksome, rendered not 
the less so, from the circumstance that the pipe and the 
cup of coffee, the invariable marks of welcome beneath an 
Arab roof, were withheld. 

I do not know when I have so earnestly longed for a 
cup of coffee; for, apart from the danger inferred to 
myself, its not being tendered, seemed an ominous sign 
for the expedition. The whole business looked like a 

While these thoughts were passing through my mind, 
a few words had been exchanged between the leaders and 
their followers, — mostly brief questions and monosyllabic 
replies, the last almost invariably the Arabic negative, 

Presently one of the questions elicited quite a warm 
discussion, during which I sat entirely unnoticed, except 
that occasionally one of the speakers looked towards me, 
when his example was followed by the whole assembly. 
There was an evident air of constraint ; I had been re- 
ceived with bare civility, and they seemed undecided 
what measures to pursue. There were evidently conflict- 
ing opinions. 

Fretted with impatience, and perhaps more nervous 
than I should have been, without thinking, I looked at 
my watch. There was an instant pause in the conversa- 
tion, and while Sherif asked to see it, they all crowded 
eagerly round. It was no curiosity to him, but most of 
those present examined it earnestly, like so many wild 
Indians for the first time beholding a mirror. I took as 
much time as possible to exhibit the works, and when 
they would look no longer, drew my sword, and glad to 
feel it in my grasp, pointed out to them the peculiar con- 
struction of the handle. They examined it as closely as 
they could, for, unlike the watch, I would not part with it; 


when, just as their curiosity was becoming sated, a 
cheering sound struck upon my ear. A single glance 
satisfied me that I was not mistaken, and springing to my 
feet, I stretched out one hand for the watch, while with 
the other I pointed to the foot of the hill, and cried out 
"djemmell!" Djemmell! djemmell! (camel! camel!) was 
echoed by many voices, for the caravan was in sight, and 
from that moment there was a marked change in their 
manner towards me. 

I cannot venture to say that there was an intention to 
rob me, for, despite appearances, I could hardly think so. 
It may be that the omission of the chibouque and coffee 
made an undue impression on me, and that my ignorance 
of Arab habits did the rest. Perhaps, too, I was rendered 
morbidly suspicious by the consciousness of having a 
large sum of money about me. If a robbery were contem- 
plated, I came upon them, perhaps, before their plans 
were mature ; or the arrival of Sherif, who could have 
preceded me but a short time, might have disconcerted 
them. At all events, I now felt safe ; for the gaping 
mouth of the blunderbuss and the sheen of the carbines 
borne by my companions proved ample protectors. 

Notwithstanding the awkwardness of our recent posi- 
tion towards each other, I felt no hesitation in entering 
into an agreement with 'Akil on the same terms as with 
the Sherif. Our language was that of signs, fully under- 
stood by both parties. 

According to the Arab code of morals, 'Akil would 
have been perfectly justified in robbing me prior to a con- 
tract ; but to do so afterwards would be the height of dis- 
honour. From subsequent conversations with him, I 
was enabled, perhaps, to trace the cause of my cool recep- 
tion. There was an emissary of Sa'id Bey present, he 
said, and he wished to mask his intention of joining us. 

On leaving Acre, our course was first due east to 


E. S. E., then gradually round to south, when, crossing a 
ridge by Abelin, which shuts in the plain, the train en- 
tered a narrow gorge, and thence steering E. by N., came 
to the Blowing Valley or valley of the winds, with forests 
of white oak on the flanks of the hills. 

I rejoined the caravan as it passed by Abelin, leaving 
our allies to follow. They were to bring ten spears, and 
formidable ones they proved to be. The road becoming 
difficult for the carriages, we moved slowly, and our Arab 
scouts soon overtook us. They had all assumed the garb 
of the desert, and each, with a flowing dark aba (cloak) 
on, and the yellow koofeeyeh upon his head, bound round 
with a cord of camel's hair, dyed black ; and bearing a 
spear eighteen feet in length, some of them tufted with 
ostrich feathers, looked the wild and savage warrior. 

In the middle of Wady en Nafakh (Blowing Valley), 
we came to a halt, three miles from Abelin. It was yet 
early, 3 P. M. ; but the great regulator of every thing con- 
nected with life and motion in the East is water. We had 
passed a well about a mile back, and between us and the 
next one was a narrow defile, presenting great obstruc- 
tions to the passage of the boats. We therefore pitched 
our tents upon a gently sloping esplanade, and our Be- 
dawin friends were over-against us. 

It was a picturesque spot; on the left of our tents, 
which faced the south, were the trucks with the two 
boats, forming a kind of entrenchment ; behind these 
were about thirty camels and all our horses. From the 
boats, and in front of our white tents, the American flag 
was flying ; and just beyond, an officer and two sailors, 
with carbines, had mounted guard, with the loaded blun- 
derbuss between them. The tent of our allies was a blue 
one ; and the horses tethered near, and tufted spears in 
front, together with their striking costume, varied and 
enlivened the scene. 


Towards each end of the valley, about half a mile from 
the camp, one of the Arab horsemen was stationed, and, 
cutting sharp against the sky, 'Akil was upon the crest 
of the hill in our rear, taking a reconnoissance. They 
promised to make admirable videttes. We had reason 
to rejoice at having secured them. One brought us a 
sheep, which we shared between the camps ; and Mr. Dale 
and myself went over and took a tiny cup of coffee with 
them. Abelin bore from the camp S. W. by W. i W., 
per compass. We took solar and barometrical observa- 
tions ; and at night, of Polaris. 

We have, to-day, passed through the narrow tract on 
the coast of Syria, which was never subdued by the Is- 
raelites, and through the narrowest part of the land of 
the tribe of Asser into that of Zebulon, where we now are. 

At first, 

" Night threw her sable mantle o'er the earth, 
And pinned it with a star;" 

but, by degrees, the whole galaxy came forth, and twinkled 
upon the scene. It was a brilliant night, but we had rea- 
son to consider that the place was appropriately named. 
About midnight, the wind blew with great violence, and 
we were compelled to turn out, and assist the officer of 
the watch in securing the instruments. 

Wednesday, April 5. We were early on the move ; the 
sun was rising beautifully over the eastern hills ; the 
camels were straying about upon their slopes, and the 
flags and ostrich feathers were drooping with the mist. 
Called all hands, breakfasted, struck tents, hitched 
camels, and started at 8.20 A. M. The carriages, with 
the boats, were drawn by three camels each, two abreast 
and one as leader, with twelve spare ones, to relieve every 
half hour. Our party numbered sixteen in all, including 
dragoman and cook, with eleven camels, laden with bag- 
gage, tents, instruments, &c. ; and fifteen Bedawin, all 
13 k 


well mounted, the f jjpyrers and servants of the Sherif of 
Mecca and Sheikh CkF Aga el Hassee. 

Our course was at first east for a quarter of a mile, and 
then by a short turn to S. E., down a narrow gorge. 
Through this we found it impossible to drag the boats ; 
and therefore, deploying to the left, we drew them to the 
summit of an overhanging hill, and there, taking the 
camels out, lowered them down by hand. It was an 
arduous and, at times, a seemingly impracticable under- 
taking, but by perseverance we succeeded. 

Passing along this ravine, in a south-easterly direction, 
for three-quarters of a mile, the boats rattling and tum- 
bling along, drawn by the powerful camel trains, we came, 
at 9.30, upon a branch of the great plain of Buttauf. 
The metal boats, with the flags flying, mounted on car- 
riages drawn by huge camels, ourselves, the mounted 
sailors in single file, the loaded camels, the sherif and the 
sheikh, with their tufted spears and followers, presented 
a glorious sight. It looked like a triumphal march. 

The sun was curtained, but not screened, from the 
sight by the ascending vapour, and the soft wind was 
wooing nature to assume her green and fragrant livery. 
The young grain, vivified by the heat, sprang up in pro- 
lific growth, and carpeted the earth with its refreshing 
verdure. The green turf of the uncultivated patches of 
the plain, and the verdant slopes of the hills, were lite- 
rally enamelled with the white and crimson aster, the 
pale asphodel, the scarlet anemone, the blue and purple 
convolvulus, the cyclsemen, with flowers so much resem- 
bling the eglantine rose, and many others of brilliant 
hues and fragrant odours ; while, interspersed here and 
there upon the hill-sides, were clumps of trees, on the 
branches of which the birds were singing, in the soft light 
of an early spring morning, — enjoying, like ourselves, the 
balmy air and smiling landscape. It was an exquisite 


scene, and elevated the mind, while it gratified the love 
of the beautiful. Surely, 

u There lives and works 
A soul in all things, and that soul is God." 

In front was a level lake of verdure and cultivation, and 
down the gentle slope, towards its basin, our long caval- 
cade wended its way, — officers and men in single file, 
their arms glittering in the sunlight, and the wild Arabs, 
with their lances pointed at every angle, some of them 
mounted upon the best blood of Arabia, seeming impa- 
tient at the slowness of the march. 

Winding around a green hill, tufted with oak, we came, 
at 10.15, to Khan el Dielil, now in ruins, with an excel- 
lent well beside it. A few hundred yards beyond, we 
came to a shallow pond of water, the collection of winter 
rains, where we stopped to water the caravan. Here we 
took chronometer observations, — having to remove some 
distance, in consequence of the vibration caused by the 
movement of the animals. 

From this ruined khan, across the plain, bearing south, 
cresting a lofty hill, was the castle of Sefurich (Sepphoris), 
the Dio Cesarea of the Romans. It was, for some time, 
the successful rival of Tiberias; and, in the 12th century, 
was the great rendezvous of the Crusaders, before the 
fatal battle of Hattin. There is a tradition among the 
Arabs, that Moses married and lived here twenty years. 
Thence south-east, over a hill, lay Nazareth, but three 
hours distant from us. How we grieved that our duties 
prevented us from visiting a place which, with Bethlehem 
and Calvary, the scenes of the birth, the residence, and 
the death of the Redeemer, are of most intense interest 
to the Christian ! To the left, almost due east, one hour 
distant, lay Cana of Galilee. 

Who has not, in thought, accompanied the Saviour to 
that marriage-feast, and thanked him from his heart, that 


he should have gladdened with his presence the fleeting 
festivities of sinful man, and that his first miracle should 
have been, to all succeeding generations, a lesson of filial 
love ! 

Each day, some of the sherif 's or the sheikh's followers 
brought us a sheep or a lamb as a present, for which, 
however, they expected, and always received, a fair 
equivalent. In doing so, they placed a quiet trust in 
Providence with regard to the payment, for which they 
never asked. Where the value of things is so well ascer- 
tained as among this primitive people, how much better 
is this plan than a higgling bargain ! 

At 11 o'clock, started again, — our route E. N. E. along 
the plain ; our Arabs caracoling their steeds, and giving 
us specimens of their beautiful horsemanship, — plunging 
about and twirling their long spears, and suddenly couch- 
ing them in full career, as they charged upon each other. 
It was like the game of the jherrid, of which we had all 
read so often, except that, instead of the short blunted 
spear of pastime, these were the sharp-pointed instruments 
of warfare. The old sherif was mounted upon a splendid 
grey mare, worth many thousand piastres, and wore him- 
self a rich cloth cloak, embroidered with silver. Beautiful 
bay mares were ridden by the sheikh and his followers ; 
among the last were two jet-black Nubians, — one of 
them of Herculean frame, disfigured by several scars. 

1, P. M. Coming to a broken and rocky country, we 
encountered much difficulty with the boats. At first 
sight it seemed impossible that the ponderous carriages 
could be drawn over such a rugged road. The word road 
means, in that country, a mule-track. Wheel-carriages 
had never crossed it before. In their invasion of Syria, 
the French transported their guns and gun-carriages 
(taken apart) on the backs of camels, over the lofty 
ridges, and mounted them again upon the plain. 


At length, making a detour to the right, breaking off a 
projecting crag here, and filling up a hollow there, we 
got the boats over the first ridge. It was shortly, how- 
ever, succeeded by another and another, and the trains 
were obliged to abandon the road altogether. Winding 
along the flanks of several hills, we came, at 2.30, upon 
an elevated plain of cultivated fields. Turning then 
more to the north, and skirting a ridge of rocky lime- 
stone, we gradually ascended a slope covered with olive 
orchards. Presently we came in sight of Turan, an Arab 

In our acceptation of the word, a village means a num- 
ber of scattered peasant dwellings, but here it is a strong- 
hold of the agricultural population. Since leaving Acre, 
we had not seen a single permanent habitation without 
these walled villages. Turan is quite a fortification. It 
is small ; the houses are built of uncut and uncemented 
stone, with flat mud roofs, not exceeding one story in 
height. Just beyond the village, over the brow of the 
hill, we pitched our tents upon the outskirts of an olive 
orchard. In the plain, immediately beneath, was fought 
a decisive battle between the Syrians and the French. 
Mount Tabor bore S. S. W. We were in the lands as- 
signed to the tribe of Zebulon. By invitation, I accom- 
panied Sherif and 'Akil into the village, and smoked a 
pipe and drank coffee with its sheikh, who wore the 
graceful and becoming turban. But for his costume, he 
would, in our country, pass for a genteel negro, of the 
cross between the mulatto and the black. In order to 
economize time and provisions, and to prepare us for the 
endurance of future privations, I had from the first re- 
stricted the whole party to two meals a day — one early 
in the morning, before starting, the other when we had 
camped for the night. There was not an objection or a 



While at supper, Dr. Anderson joined us. On his way 
to Acre, he had, from a height, seen the expedition mov- 
ing along the plain. He described it as a beautiful sight. 

The sheikh of the village punctually returned my visit, 
and was duly regaled with pipes and coffee. He seemed 
to prefer our tobacco to his own. In the evening we 
went down to the tent of our Arabs, pitched a short dis- 
tance from us, with their horses tethered near and neigh- 
ing loudly. What a patriarchal scene ! Seated upon 
their mats and cushions within, we looked out upon the 
fire, around which were gathered groups of this wild peo- 
ple, who continually reminded us of our Indians. Then 
came their supper, consisting of a whole sheep, entombed 
in rice, which they pitched into without knives or forks, 
in the most amusing manner. There was an Arab bard 
withal, who twanged away upon his instrument, and sung 
or rather chanted mysterious Arabic poetry. He will 

" Make a swan-like end, 
Fading in music." 

We had ascended upwards of 1500 feet, which, better 
than any description, will give an idea of the steepness, 
but not of the ruggedness, of the road since we left the 
plain of Acre. To-morrow we may reach the Sea of Gali- 
lee ! Inshallah ! 

Thursday, April 6. A beautiful morning, wind light 
and weather very pleasant. As, in consequence of great 
impediments, the boats moved but slowly, we started with 
them at an early hour. At 11, the camp followed us. 
Nothing could be more picturesque than the appearance 
of our cavaliers of the desert, when they rejoined us, 
mounted on their spirited steeds, with their long spears 
and flowing garments of every variety of hue. 

At first our course was east, down a long descent, and 
thence over the undulations of a rolling plain. At 1 


P. M., reached a large artificial reservoir, with an area 
of about three acres, partly filled with rain-water, where 
we stopped fifteen minutes. Our friends, who had pre- 
ceded us and Sherif, with one of his followers, had gone 
aside to perform their devotions in a field apart. 

While at this fountain, wishing to take some bearings, 
one of our swarthy friends, in the most graceful and 
polite manner, held my horse, and otherwise assisted me. 
Thus far these terrible Arabs had conducted themselves 
like gentlemen. In courtesy, civilization could not im- 
prove them. 

At 1.45 we passed immediately north of the village of 
Lubieh, differing only in its less conspicuous position 
from Turan and Abelin. Our Arabs rode into the vil- 
lage, but I declined the invitation to coffee, and kept on 
with the cavalcade. 

Since leaving the olive groves of Turan we had not 
seen a tree or a bush, except on the hill-sides of Lu- 
bieh ; yet the whole surface of the valley was dotted 
with unenclosed fields of growing grain, and carpeted 
with green. 

We continued rising until, at 2.25, we opened on our 
right a magnificent crater-like series of slopes, with a bare 
glimpse of the Sea of Galilee and the mountains of Ba- 
shan beyond. These slopes are fields of grain, divided 
into rectangles of different hues and different stages of 
growth. Besides these, were patches of flowers scattered 
about, — here the scarlet anemone, there the blue convol- 
vulus ; — but the gentle and luxuriant slopes looked like 
mosaic, with a prevailing purple tinge, the hue of the 
thorny shrub merar. On our route thus far the pre- 
vailing rock has been limestone, but since leaving Lu- 
bieh we have seen several nodules of quartz, and much 
trap, totally destitute of minerals. The prevailing flower 
is the convolvulus, from the root of which jalap is 


said to be extracted. Ragged peasants were ploughing 
in the fields ; but not a tree, not a house. Mount Tabor 
now bore due south. 

Pursuing the route along the northern ridge of this 
valley, in half an hour we came to a fountain, on the 
high road from Jerusalem to Damascus. Some Christian 
pilgrims, from the latter to the former place, were seated 
around it ; their tired horses, with drooping heads, wait- 
ing their turn to drink. Soon after leaving them, a small 
party passed us ; among them, the only pretty female we 
had seen in Palestine : a young Syrian girl, with smooth 
bronze skin and regular features. 

Unable to restrain my impatience, I now rode ahead 
with Mustafa, and soon saw below, far down the green 
sloping chasm, the Sea of Galilee, basking in the sun- 
light ! Like a mirror it lay embosomed in its rounded and 
beautiful, but treeless hills. How dear to the Christian 
are the memories of that lake ! The lake of the New 
Testament ! Blessed beyond the nature of its element, it 
has borne the Son of God upon its surface. Its cliffs first 
echoed the glad tidings of salvation, and from its villages 
the first of the apostles were gathered to the ministry. 
Its placid water and its shelving beach ; the ruined cities 
once crowded with men, and the everlasting hills, the 
handiwork of God, — all identify and attest the wonderful 
miracles that were here performed — miracles, the least of 
which was a crowning act of mercy of an Incarnate God 
towards his sinful and erring creatures. 

The roadside and the uncultivated slopes of the hills 
were full of flowers, and abounded with singing birds — 
and there lay the holy lake, consecrated by the presence 
of the Redeemer ! How could travellers describe the 
scenery of this lake as tame and uninteresting ? It far 
exceeded my most sanguine expectations, and I could 
scarce realize that I was there. Near by was the field, 


where, according to tradition, the disciples plucked the 
ears of corn upon the sabbath. Yet nearer was the spot 
where the Saviour fed the famishing multitude ; and to 
the left the Mount of Beatitudes, where he preached his 
wonderful compend of wisdom and love. At its foot, as 
if to show how little man regards the precepts of his 
Maker, was fought one of the most dreadful battles re- 
corded on the page of history. I neither put implicit 
faith in, nor yet, in a cavilling spirit, question the local- 
ities of these traditions. Unhappy is that man, who, in- 
stead of being impressed with awe, or exultant with the 
thought that he is permitted to look upon such scenes, 
withholds his homage, and stifles every grateful aspiration 
with querulous questionings of exact identities. Away 
with such hard-hearted scepticism — so nearly allied to 
infidelity ! What matters it, whether in this field or an 
adjoining one — on this mount, or another more or less 
contiguous to it, the Saviour exhorted, blessed, or fed his 
followers ? The very stones, each a sermon, cry shame 
upon such a captious spirit — a spirit too often indulged, 
not in the sincerity of unbelief, but to parade historical 
or biblical lore. 

Not a tree ! not a shrub ! nothing but green grain, 
grass and flowers, yet acres of bright verdure. Far up on 
a mountain-top stands conspicuous the "holy city" of 
Safed, the ancient Japhet. Nearer is the well into which 
Joseph was put by his brethren. Beyond the lake and 
over the mountains, rise majestic in the clear sky the 
snowy peaks of Mount Hermon. We descended the steep 
hill towards the lake. How in the world are the boats 
ever to be got down this rocky and precipitous path, when 
we are compelled to alight and lead our horses ? From 
Acre to this place, we have dragged the boats along a 
series of valleys and ridges, but from hence there is a 
sheer descent. This difficulty overcome, we shall only 


have our own familiar element to deal with. We will, 
therefore, have to brace ourselves to a desperate effort. 

The boats could come no farther than the fountain, 
where the trains stopped for the night. Along the ele- 
vated plain the trap formation made its appearance in 
scattered fragments, covering the brown soil ; large boul- 
ders then succeeded, and on the shore enormous masses 
crop-out in the ravines. Winding down the rugged road, 
we descended to the city, seated on the margin of the 
lake. Tiberias (Tubariyeh) is a walled town of some 
magnitude, but in ruins, from the earthquake which, in 
1837, destroyed so many of its inhabitants. Not a house 
nor a tree without the walls, yet cultivated fields behind 
and beside them. On an esplanade, a short distance from 
the dismantled gateway, were the tents of a small detach- 
ment of Turkish soldiers. 

Safed and Tiberias, Jerusalem and Hebron, are the four 
holy cities of the Jews in Palestine. Tiberias is held in 
peculiar veneration by the Jews, for here they believe 
that Jacob resided, and it is situated on the shores of 
the lake whence they hope that the Messiah will arise. 
In Robinson's elaborate work, is an accurate account of it. 

Turning to the south, leaving behind us a beautiful 
concave slope, consecrated by tradition for the miraculous 
draught of fishes, we entered the northern half-ruined 
portal of the town. 

We were yet in the land of Zebulon ; on the opposite 
side of the lake are the lands of the tribe of Manasseh. 

It being necessary to adjust and fix the rate of our 
instruments, we rented part of a house in town, — many 
being proffered for our accommodation, — indicative alike 
of the hospitality of the people and the unprosperous con- 
dition of the place. We had letters to the chief rabbi of 
the Jews, who came to meet us, and escorted us through 
labyrinthine streets to the house of Heim Wiseman, a 



»- * 



brother Israelite. It is an hotel sui generis, as well in 
the mode of entertaining as in the subsequent settlement 
with its guests. In a book which was shown to us we 
read the following gentle insinuation : — " I beg the gen- 
tlemen arriving at my house that, at their departure, 
they will have the goodness to give me, in my hands, 
what they please. Tibaria, April 7, 1845." The above 
is an exact copy of the notice referred to, in English. It 
is likewise written in bad Italian and worse Spanish. 

Sherif and 'Akll turned up as if by magic. Here they 
were before us, although they stopped at Lubiyeh, and 
we did not see them pass us on the road. Nothing but 
their kind feelings towards us could have induced them 
to enter the house of a Jew. They received three rabbis, 
who came to see us, with much respect, and greeted their 
own Muslim visitors with the true oriental embrace. 
The governor, who was a relative of 'Akll, was among 
the first who called. 

There was no doubt of the high standing of Sherif and 
his nephew, Sherif Musaid, a much younger and very 
prepossessing Arab, who had recently joined us. The 
governor was a small intelligent Arab, with a dark Egyp- 
tian complexion. Our friends soon left us to quarter 
upon him. 

Our sailors were delighted with the novelty of having 
a roof above them, and we all felt relieved in no longer 
hearing the shrill and vociferous screams of the camel- 
drivers, — the noisiest of the children of men. Our saloon 
looked out upon the lake. It has mere apertures in its 
blank walls for doors and windows. A number of swal- 
lows, regardless of our presence, flitted in and out, busied 
in the construction of their nests amid the sustaining 
rafters of the mud roof. The windows might have been, 
but, from an error in its construction, the door could not 
be, closed. 


We had fish, delicious fish from the lake, for our supper, 
which we ate in thankfulness, although we knew that we 
should pay for it in flesh, — for the king of the fleas, it is 
said, holds his court in Tiberias. 

Our apartment, which was at once our parlour, eating- 
room, and chamber, was the rendezvous of the curious, 
and, it seemed to us, also, of all the Arab camel and 
mule-drivers in the town. We were surrounded by 
a motley assembly of all classes, standing, sitting, or 
reclining in democratic disregard of all rank or distinc- 
tion, and looking with amazement, not unmingled with 
mirth, at our strange and elaborate mode of eating. 

Our instruments were uninjured, notwithstanding the 
ruggedness of the road, and we fitted them up in a sepa- 
rate room, preparatory to a series of observations ; and 
then, wearied but gratified, laid down to sleep. 

Friday, April 7. The beams of the rising sun, reflected 
from the lake, were dancing about on the walls of the 
apartment when we awoke. A light breeze ruffled its 
surface, which 

"Broke into dimples, and laughed in the sun." 
There was a silence of some moments, as we looked forth 
upon it, and the mind of each no doubt recurred to the 
time when an angry wind swept across, and the Apostle 
of wavering faith cried, " Lord, save me, or I perish ! " 

Our first thought was for the boats ; but, notwithstand- 
ing the utmost exertions, at sunset they were only brought 
to the brink of the high and precipitous range which over- 
looked the lake from the west. 

In the course of the day, I returned the visit of the 
governor. He received me in a large room, opening on a 
small court, with a divan in a recess opposite to the door. 

Justice was administered with all the promptitude and 
simplicity of the East. On my way, I had been exaspe- 
rated almost to the point of striking him, by a half-grown 


boy beating an elderly woman, who proved to be his 
mother. The latter made her complaint shortly after my 
entrance. The case was fairly but briefly examined by 
the governor in person, and in a few words the sentence 
was pronounced. From the countenance of the culprit, 
as he was led forth, I felt satisfied that he was on his 
way to a well-merited punishment. 

Another woman complained that her husband had 
beaten her. In this, as in the previous case, the com- 
plainant directly addressed the governor. The husband 
seemed to be a man of influence, and the trial was some- 
what protracted. The evidence was clear against him, 
however, and he was made publicly to kiss her forehead, 
where he had struck her. 

A trifling circumstance will show in what thraldom the 
Jews are held. Our landlord, Heim Wiseman, had been 
kind enough to show me the way to the governor's. On 
our entrance, he meekly sat down on the floor, some dis- 
tance from the divan. After the sherbet was handed 
round to all, including many dirty Arabs, it was tendered 
to him. It was a rigid fast-day with his tribe, the eve of 
the feast of the azymes, and he declined it. It was again 
tendered, and again declined, when the attendant made 
some exclamation, which reached the ears of the governor, 
who thereupon turned abruptly round, and sharply called 
out, "Drink it." The poor Jew, agitated and trembling, 
carried it to his lips, where he held it for a moment, 
when, perceiving the attention of the governor to be 
diverted, he put down the untasted goblet. 

On our return, Mr. Wiseman led me to a vaulted chapel 
dedicated to St. Peter, built on the traditionary spot of 
one of the miracles of our Lord. Strange that a Jew 
should point out to a Christian the place where the Mes- 
siah, whom the first denies and the last believes in, estab- 
lished his church upon a rock. 


The Jews here are divested of that spirit of trade which 
is everywhere else their peculiar characteristic. Their 
sole occupation, we were told, is to pray and to read the, 
Talmud. That book, Burckhardt says, declares that cre- 
ation will return to primitive chaos if prayers are not 
addressed to the God of Israel at least twice a week in 
the four holy cities. Hence the Jews all over the world 
are liberal in their contributions. 

Returned the visit of the Rabbis. They have two syn- 
agogues, the Sephardim and Askeniazim, but live harmo- 
niously together. There are many Polish Jews, with 
light complexions, among them. They describe them- 
selves as very poor, and maintained by the charitable 
contributions of Jews abroad, mostly in Europe. More 
meek, subdued, and unpretending men than these Rabbis 
I have never seen. The chief one illustrated the tyranny 
of the Turks by a recent circumstance. In consequence 
of the drought of the preceding year there had been a 
failure of the crops, and the Sultan, whose disposition is 
humane, ordered a large quantity of grain to be distri- 
buted among the fellahin for seed. The latter were ac- 
cordingly called in ; — to him whose portion was twenty 
okes* was given ten, and to him whose portion was ten, 
five okes were given, — after each had signed a paper 
acknowledging the receipt of the greater quantity. How 
admirably the scriptures portray the manners and cus- 
toms of the east ! Here is the verification of the parable 
of the unjust steward. It is true, that in this instance 
the decree was issued by the Turks — a comparatively 
modern people, — but it was carried into effect by the de- 
scendants of the ancient Gentile races of the country. 

In the evening we visited several of the synagogues. 
It was impressive yet melancholy to witness the fervid 

* An oke is about two and three-quarter pounds. 


zeal of the worshippers. In gabardines, with broad and 
narrow phylacteries, some of them embroidered, the men 
were reading or rather chanting, or rather screaming and 
shouting, the lamentations of Jeremias — all the time 
swaying their bodies to and fro with a regular and mono- 
tonous movement. There was an earnest expression of 
countenance that could not have been feigned. The 
tones of the men were loud and almost querulous with 
complaint ; while the women, who stood apart, were more 
hushed in their sorrow, and lowly wailed, moving the heart 
by their sincerity. In each synagogue was an octagon 
recess, where the Pentateuch and other sacred works 
were kept. Whatever they may be in worldly matters, 
the Jews are no hypocrites in the article of faith. 

The females marry very early. There was one in the 
house, then eleven and a half years of age, who, we were 
assured, had been married eighteen months. Mr. Wise- 
man pointed out another, a mere child in appearance, ten 
years of age, who had been two years married. It seems 
incredible. The unmarried wear the hair exposed, but 
the married women studiously conceal it. To make up 
for it, the heads of the latter were profusely ornamented 
with coins and gems and any quantity of another's hair, 
the prohibition only extending to their own. Their dress 
is a boddice, a short, narrow-skirted gown, and pantalettes 
gathered at the ankles. Unlike the Turkish and the 
Arab women, they sometimes wear stockings. The bod- 
dice is open in front, and the breasts are held, but not 
restrained, by loose open pockets of thin white gauze. 

There are about three hundred families, or one thou- 
sand Jews, in this town. The sanhedrim consists of 
seventy rabbis, of whom thirty are natives and forty 
Franks, mostly from Poland, with a few from Spain. 
The rabbis stated that controversial matters of discipline 


among Jews, all over the world, are referred to this 

Besides the Jews, there are in Tiberias from three to 
four hundred Muslims and two or three Latins, from 

P. M. Received an express with letters from Jerusalem. 
Among them is a firman, or buyuruldi, from the Pasha, 
which I transcribe as a curiosity. 

" Translation of Buyuruldi, 

from the Pasha of Jerusalem. 

6 April, 1848. 

" Observe what is written in this, all ye who stand and 
see it, by the sheiks and elders of the Arabs and keepers 
of the highways : let it be known to you openly, according 
to this buyuruldi, that fifteen of the honourable persons 
of the government of America desire to depart from this 
to the Sea of Lot and thereabouts, there to take boats and 
go down into the above-mentioned sea. And accordingly, 
as it was necessary, we have drawn this, our buyuruldi, to 
you ; and it is necessary for you, ye that are spoken 
to, that to the above persons, at their passing your dis- 
tricts, you do all that you can for their comfort, and let 
no one annoy them — but care and protection is required 
for them ; and if they are in want of food or other things 
for price, or animals for hire, you are to supply them. 
And if God please, no more command is wanting ; but to 
the persons that are here mentioned, by all means give 
comfort ; and for this reason we have drawn for you this 
buyuruldi from the divan of the honorable Jerusalem, 
Nablus, and Gaza. So by this ye may know, according 
to what is written, ye are not to do the contrary. Know 
and beware, and know according to what is herein, and 

avoid the contrary. 

" Translated by Moses Tanoos, 

British Consulate, 



Mr. Pennock wrote me that Mr. Finn, H. B. M. consul, 
has been very active and friendly, and I feel that we are 
much indebted to him. Our landlord was with poor Cos- 
tigan, just prior to his attempt to circumnavigate the 
Dead Sea. From him, and from an Arab boatman, we 
received an account of the attack upon the boat of 
Lieutenant Molyneaux, his pursuit by the Arabs, and 
subsequent death. Poor fellows ! If God spare us, we 
will commemorate their gallantry and their devotion to 
the cause of science. 

The express from Jerusalem was a Janissary, sent by 
the Pasha, with four soldiers. In the firm belief that we 
should not need them, I paid them and directed them to 
return. Our Bedawin friends served as videttes, to 
apprise us of danger. It was only ambuscades we feared. 

Saturday, April 8. A beautiful, calm morning. Quiet 
as a sleeping infant, the lake lies in the lap of its lofty 
hills. Received an express from Acre, with letters. 
They brought intelligence of revolutions in Europe. 

" It is the low booming of that mighty ocean, which, 
wave after wave, is breaking up the dikes and boundaries 
of ancient power." The spirit of revolution is abroad. 
It stands upon the grave of the past. As our beautiful 
institutions took life and vigour from the first breathings 
of this spirit, we feel deeply interested in its nature and 
tendency. It engages all our affections, it awakens all 
our sympathies. It is the cause of the universe — it is 
the voice of the great family of nations, which is coming 
up from the four winds to proclaim change and reforma- 
tion among the sons of the children of men. It is, per- 
haps, the last of the Sibylline volumes, containing new 
truths, burthened with the ripening destinies of man. 

" Man is one ! 
And he hath one great heart. 
14 * L 


It is thus we feel, with a gigantic throb across the sea, 
Each other's rights and wrongs !" 

Heaven speed the cause of freedom ! 

Took all hands up the mountain to bring the boats 
down. Many times we thought that, like the herd of 
swine, they would rush precipitately into the sea. Every 
one did his best, and at length success crowned our 
efforts. With their flags flying, we carried them trium- 
phantly beyond the walls uninjured, and, amid a crowd 
of spectators, launched them upon the blue waters of the 
Sea of Galilee — the Arabs singing, clapping their hands 
to the time, and crying for backshish — but we neither 
shouted nor cheered. From Christian lips it would have 
sounded like profanation. A look upon that consecrated 
lake ever brought to remembrance the words, " Peace ! be 
still !" — which not only repressed all noisy exhibition, but 
soothed for a time all worldly care. 

Buoyantly floated the two " Fannies," bearing the stars 
and stripes, the noblest flag of freedom now waving in 
the world. Since the time of Josephus and the Romans, 
no vessel of any size has sailed upon this sea, and for 
many, many years, but a solitary keel has furrowed its 

Sunday, April 9. Another glorious morning. Rose 
early and went to the hot baths southward of the town, 
near the ruins of Emmaus, fitted up by Ibrahim Pasha 
when Syria was in possession of the Egyptians. The 
road runs along the sea-beach, upon which also the baths 
are situated. On the way we passed some prostrate 
columns, and broken arches, and vestiges of ruins half 
concealed beneath mounds of earth and rank vegetation.. 
These are no doubt the ruins of the ancient, city of Tibe- 
rias, the present site of the town being a more modern 
one. A short distance back, the rugged face of the brown 
mountains, with here and there a yawning cavern, over- 


looked the narrow plain and pellucid sea. Now and then 
a splash of the water indicated the gambollings of fish 
beneath the surface, while above, the fish-hawk sailed 
slowly along, ready for a swoop, and just out of gun-shot 
a flock of wild ducks were swimming along in conscious 

There are two baths — the old one, all in ruins — and 
the one to the north of it, now in use. In a square 
vaulted chamber is a circular basin about eighteen feet in 
diameter and four feet in depth. The temperature of the 
water is 143°, almost too hot for endurance. It is only by 
slow degrees that the body can be immersed in it. We 
procured some of it for analysis. It is salt, bitter, and 
has the nauseous smell of sulphuretted hydrogen. There 
are several other springs in their natural condition, which 
discolour the stones as they flow to the sea. It is said 
that these baths are much resorted to in the summer 
months, particularly by rheumatic patients. It is Hum- 
boldt, I believe, who remarks that in all climates people 
show the same predeliction for heat. In Iceland thQ first 
Christian converts would be baptized only in the tepid 
streams of Hecla; and in the torrid zone, the natives 
flock from all parts to the thermal waters. 

In all this luxuriant plain, which might be a perfect 
garden, there were only some cucumber and melon beds 
and fields of millet. The melons of this valley, according 
to Burckhardt, are celebrated all over the east. On the 
slope of the hill towards the north, some kersenna was 
growing — a small hard pea resembling a large radish 
seed — the husk dark brown, the kernel a deep pink colour, 
the taste sweet. It is raised almost exclusively for the 
camel. We saw no cattle. Camels, horses, mules and 
goats were the only four-footed animals to be seen. 

P. M. We pulled up the lake, and visited Mejdel, on 
the plain of Genesareth. It must have been a singular 


sight from the shore, — our beautiful boats, the crews, in 
man-of-war rig, with snow-white awnings spread, and 
their ensigns flying, the men keeping time with their oars, 
as we rowed along the green shores of the silent sea of 
Galilee ! Pulling to the shore, we inquired the name of 
the place, of a fellah who was watering his donkey. His 
reply was, "Mejdel." This is the ancient Magdala, the 
birth-place of Mary Magdalen, and was once visited by 
our Saviour. "We were coming in closer, and yet closer, 
contiguity to sacred scenes. On our way from Beirut to 
Haifa, we had passed the ruins of Tyre, where the Saviour 
yielded to the importunities of the Canaanitish woman, 
and healed her. Passing between Nazareth and Cana, 
and approaching this lake, we looked at them from a 
distance, but here we were upon their threshold. I do 
not know what was passing in the minds of others, but 
I felt myself all unworthy to tread upon the consecrated 
spot. Instead of landing, we pulled a short distance from 
the shore, and, lying upon the oars, looked in silence 
upon the scene. 

Mejdel is now a poor village of about forty families, all 
fellahin. The houses, like those of Turan, are of rough 
stone, with flat mud roofs. Above it are high hills, with 
rounded faces to the north-east, and perpendicular preci- 
pices behind, presenting a stratified appearance. In the 
face of the precipice are many caverns, whether natural 
or artificial, from this distance we could not tell.* In 
these caverns, it was said that a band of robbers once 
fortified themselves, and were with difficulty expelled. 
Josephus states that the assailants were lowered down in 
chests from the summit to the mouths of the caverns. 
While pulling about the lake, a squall swept down one of 

* Burckhardt, who visited them, says that they are natural, but united 
together by artificial passages. He estimates that they would shelter about 
600 men. 


the ravines, and gave us a convincing proof how soon the 
placid sea could assume an angry look. 

We had not time to survey the lake, — the advancing 
season, and the lessening flood in the Jordan, warning us 
to lose no time. We deferred making the necessary ob- 
servations, therefore, until our return. The bottom is a 
concave basin, — the greatest depth, thus far ascertained, 
twenty-seven and a half fathoms (165 feet) ; but this 
inland sea, alternately rising and falling, from copious 
rains or rapid evaporations, apart from its only outlet, is 
constantly fluctuating in depth. 

The water of the lake is cool and sweet, and the 
inhabitants say that it possesses medicinal properties. It 
produces five kinds of fish, all good, — viz. the "Musht," 
"Abu But," "Huflafah," "Abu Kisher," and "Biirbut;" 
the last, from some superstitious idea, is not eaten by the 
Jews. The musht, about one foot long and four or Hve 
inches wide, resembles the sole. Burckhardt mentions 
one called Binni, like the carp. All that we tasted, and 
we tried to procure them all, were delicious. 

In the evening, we had a long conversation with the 
Arab boatman, who was one of the crew of Molyneaux's 
boat. He gave a disheartening account of the great, and, 
as he thought, the insuperable impediments to boats as 
large as ours. He dwelt particularly upon the rapids and 
cascades, false channels and innumerable rocks, and was 
inclined to think that there was a cataract in the part of 
the river along which they transported their boat upon a 
camel. Among other things, he stated that many rivers 
empty into the Jordan, which I did not believe. 

That we should encounter great obstacles, perhaps 
seemingly insurmountable ones, I did not doubt; but I 
had great faith in American sailors, and believed that 
what men could do, they would achieve. So there was 
no thought of turning back. 


When in Constantinople, my patience was severely 
tried by a countryman, who, with the best intentions, but 
in bad taste, gave me a circumstantial account of the 
death of three British naval officers, of my name, engaged 
in expeditions to the east. One captain and two lieu- 
tenants; the first perishing with his vessel in the Eu- 
phrates ; one of the others massacred by the Arabs, and 
the third dying in the desert. Had their names been 
Jones and mine Jenkins, there would have been no fore- 
bodings ; but as it was, the supposed astounding informa- 
tion was conveyed in a mysterious whisper, with an 
ominous shake of the head ! 

The house we inhabited was owned by a Jew ; and if 
the king of fleas holds his court in Tiberias his throne is 
surely here. But that the narrow and tortuous lanes of 
the town (there are no streets, in our acceptation of the 
word) were crowded with filthy and disgusting objects, I 
should have given the palm of uncleanness to our host 
and his family. They were, in person and attire, literally 
unwashed, uncombed, slouching, shuffling, dirty, and 
repulsive. Unlike all other places we have seen, the 
women are not more cleanly than the men ; and while 
the married ones carefully conceal their hair, they all 
studiously exhibit the formation of their breasts, which 
renders them anything but attractive. 

The men have the abject, down-trodden look which 
seems peculiar to this people in the east. Many of the 
children are quite handsome ; but filth, poverty, avarice, 
and tyranny, have changed the old into disgusting libels 
upon humanity. Compared to them, our wild Arabs are 
paragons of manly cleanliness. 

The pashas and governors, in this country, have an off- 
hand, arbitrary, and unfeeling mode of transacting busi- 
ness. When our camels broke down at Acre, Said Bey 
was applied to, by our consul, for additional ones. There 


happened, unfortunately, to be a fellah coming from Na- 
zareth with two loaded camels, just then without the 
walls. He was made to throw his sacks of grain in the 
road ; and without clothes, or communication with his 
family, sent to assist in the transportation of our effects. 
By chance, he found a friend to take care of his grain. 
Of course we knew nothing of this ; and would rather 
not have come at all, than have our progress facilitated 
by such an act of tyranny. It was not until about 
to settle with the camel-drivers, that we were told of 
it. The poor fellah was remunerated for his loss of time, 
and paid liberally for the use of his camels, the amount 
being deducted from the sum contracted for with Sa'id 

We found here an old frame boat, which I purchased 
for six hundred piastres, about twenty-five dollars, in 
order to relieve the other boats, lessen the expense of 
transportation down the Jordan, and carry our tents 
upon the Dead Sea ; for it was fast becoming warm, and 
we might not be able to work in that deep chasm with- 
out them. We repaired and named her " Uncle Sam." 

Since we have occupied these quarters, as well as 
along the route from Acre, Mustafa purchased and 
cooked our provisions. He was inestimable ; — a genuine 
Arab, speaking a little English, and able to boil a kettle. 
or roast a sheep, in a gale of wind in the open air. But 
his great recommendation was his unvarying cheerfulness 
at all times, and under all circumstances. Every morn- 
ing, before and during breakfast, our room was thronged 
with Arabs, and Mustafa knew exactly what amount of 
attention to bestow on each. To the governor and the 
sheikhs, he tendered the tiny cup of coffee, or the chi- 
bouque, with his head bowed down, and his left hand 
upon his breast : to those approaching his own degree, 
they were handed with cavalier nonchalence. 


Monday, April 10. It was necessary to procure other 
camels here, the owners of those we brought from Acre 
not being willing to trust them in the desert, for which 
reason we had been detained, but not in idleness, for we 
were constantly occupied in making barometrical and 
thermometrical observations, and taking sights to ascer- 
tain the rate of the instruments. It was necessary, also, 
to purchase and carry our provisions with us. Last night 
the camels were reported as coming, and this morning 
their arrival was announced. All, therefore, was the 
busy note of preparation. 

A distinguished guest at our usual extempore levee this 
morning, was the Emir or Prince of the tribes on the upper 
banks of the Jordan. This royal personage delights in 
the euphonius patronymic of Emir Nasser 'Arar el Guz- 
zaway. He had heard of our purpose, and came to 
proffer the hospitalities of his tribes. He was consider- 
ably taller and stouter than the generality of the race ; 
his complexion was of the tint of burnt umber, his eye 
black, lascivious, and glistening like that of a snake ; he 
wore a tangled black beard, and, with his fang-like teeth, 
smiled a la Carker. His costume was in no manner dis- 
tinguished from that of his numerous attendants, unless 
in its superlative uncleanliness, and a pre-eminence in 
the liberal mode of ventilation adopted by this people. 

The dirty barbarian affected a love of nature, and a slight 
taste for botany. Ke dining lazily upon the cushions of 
the divan, with a kind of oriental voluptuousness, he ever 
and anon raised a rose-bud to his nostril, and enjoyed its 
fragrance with the exquisite languor of a city beau. 
The ogre prince! We accepted the invitation, and he 
joined the caravan. 

In order that, by a division of labour, our work might 
be well performed, I assigned to each officer and volunteer 
of this expedition his appropriate duty. With the com- 


mand of the caravan, Mr. Dale was to take topographical 
sketches of the country as he proceeded, and such other 
notes as circumstances would permit. 

Dr. Anderson was directed to make geological observa- 
tions, and collect specimens where he could ; Mr. Bedlow 
to note the aspect of the country on the land route, and 
the incidents that occurred on the march ; and Mr. Francis 
Lynch, who was charged with the herbarium, to collect 
plants and flowers. 

In the water party, I assigned to myself, in the " Fanny 
Mason," the course, rapidity, colour, and depth of the river 
and its tributaries, — the nature of its banks, and of the 
country through which it flowed, — the vegetable produc- 
tions, and the birds and animals we might see, with a 
journal of events. To Mr. Aulick, who had charge of 
the "Fanny Skinner," was assigned the topographical 
sketch of the river and its shores. 

It was my anxious desire to avoid taking camels down 
the Ghor ; but, from the best information we could obtain 
respecting the river, I was obliged to employ them. As 
the Jordan was represented to run between high banks 
which form the terraces of another valley yet above 
them, I felt that our safety and the success of the expedi- 
tion would depend materially upon the vigilance and 
alacrity of the land party. I therefore placed it under 
command of Mr. Dale. It consisted of Dr. Anderson, Mr. 
Bedlow, Mr. Lynch, Sherif, 'Akil, Mustafa and ten Beda- 
win videttes. They were directed to keep as near to the 
river as the nature of the country would permit, and 
should they hear two guns fired in quick succession, to 
leave the camel-drivers to take care of themselves, and 
hasten with all speed to our assistance. I felt sure that 
Mr. Dale would not fail me, and in that respect my mind 
was at ease. The Sherif, 'Akil and the Emir all assured 
me that there was no danger to the caravan, but that the 


great fear was an attack upon the boats when entangled 
among rocks and shoals. 

After much delay and vexation, quarrelling of the boat- 
men, loud talking of the camel-drivers, and a world of 
other annoyances, we of the water saw our friends of the 
land party take their departure. 

Winding through the narrow streets, over piles of rub- 
bish, filth and garbage, encountering ruin, want, and 
wretchedness at every turn, they issued from the northern 
gate of the town to join our Bedawin friends at the 
66 Baths," the appointed place of rendezvous. 



Bright was the day, gay our spirits, verdant the hills, 
and unruffled the lake, when, pushing off from the shelv- 
ing beach, we bade adieu to the last outwork of border 
civilization, and steered direct for the outlet of the Jor- 
dan. The " Fanny Mason" led the way, followed closely 
by the " Fanny Skinner ;" and the Arab boatmen of the 
" Uncle Sam" worked vigorously at the oars to keep their 
place in the line. With awnings spread and colours 
flying, we passed comfortably and rapidly onwards. 

Our Bedawin friends had many of them exchanged ( 
their lances for more serviceable weapons, long-barrelled 
guns and heavily mounted pistols. 'Akil alone wore a 
scimetar. The priestly character of the Sherif forbade 
him to carry arms. With the addition of Emir and his 
followers, they amounted in all to thirty horsemen. Pass- 
ing along the shore in single file, their line was long and 
imposing. Eleven camels stalked solemnly ahead, fol- 
lowed by the wild Bedawin on their blooded animals, 
with their abas flying in the wind, and their long gun- 
barrels glittering in the sun ; and Lieutenant Dale and 
his officers in the Frank costume brought up the rear. 

Gallantly marched the cavalcade on the land, beau- 
tiful must have appeared the boats upon the water. 
Little did we know what difficulties we might have to 
encounter! But, placing our trust on high, we hoped 
and feared not. 



We started at 2 P. M,, the temperature of the air 82°, 
of the water 70°. For the first hour we steered S. E., 
then S. E. by S., and E. S. E., when, at 3.40, we arrived 
at the outlet. The same feeling prevented us from cheer- 
ing as when we launched the boats, although before us 
was the stream which, God willing, would lead us to our 
wondrous destination. 

The lake narrowed as we approached its southern ex- 
tremity. In its south-west angle are the ruins of ancient 
Tarrichaea ; opposite, on the eastern shore, a lovely plain 
sweeps down to the lake, and on the centre of the water- 
line a ravine (wady) comes down. Due west from it, 
across the foot of the lake, the Jordan debouches shortly 
to the right. - The right or western shore descends in a 
slope towards the lake; the left is somewhat more de- 
pressed, and much washed with rains. 

The scenery, as we left the lake and advanced into the 
Ghor, which is about three-quarters of a mile in breadth, 
assumed rather a tame than a savage character. The 
rough and barren mountains, skirting the valley on each 
hand, stretched far away in the distance, like walls to 
some gigantic fosse, their southern extremities half hidden 
or entirely lost in a faint purple mist. 

At 3.45, we swept out of the lake ; course, W. by N. 
The village of Semakh on a hill to the south, and 
Mount Hermon brought into view, bearing N. E. by N. ; 
the snow deep upon its crest, and white parasitic clouds 
clinging to its sides. On the extreme low point to the 
right are the ruins, called by the Arabs, Es Sumra, only 
a stone foundation standing. A number of wild ducks 
were upon the water, and birds were flitting about on 
shore. 3.55, our cavalcade again appeared in sight, 
winding along the shore. The Bedawin looked finely in 
their dark and white and crimson costumes. 

At 4.30, course W. S. W. abruptly round a ledge of 


small rocks ; current, two knots. Our course varied with 
the frequent turns of the river, from N. W. by W. at 
4.35, to S. at 4.38. The average breadth about seventy- 
five feet ; the banks rounded and about thirty feet high, 
luxuriantly clothed with grass and flowers. The scarlet 
anemone, the yellow marigold, and occasionally a water- 
lily, and here and there a straggling asphodel, close to 
the water's edge, but not a tree nor a shrub. 

At 4.43, we passed an inlet, or bay, wider than the 
river, called El Muh, which extended north a quarter of 
a mile. We lost sight of the lake in five minutes after 
leaving it. At 4.45, heard a shot from the shore, and 
soon after saw one of our scouts : 4.46, passed a low 
island, ninety yards long, tufted with shrubbery; left 
bank abrupt, twenty-five feet high ; a low, marshy island, 
off a point on the right, which runs out from the plain at 
the foot of the mountains. Water clear and ten feet 
deep. 4.55, saw the shore party dismounted on the right 
bank. Mount Hermon glittering to the north, over the 
level tract which sweeps between the mountain, the lake, 
and the river. 

When the current was strong, we only used the oars to 
keep in the channel, and floated gently down the stream, 
frightening, in our descent, a number of wild fowl feeding 
in the marsh grass and on the reedy islands. At 4.56, 
current increasing, swept round a bend of the shore, and 
heard the hoarse sound of a rapid. 4.57, came in sight 
of the partly whole and partly crumbled abutments of 
" Jisr Semakh," the bridge of Semakh. 

The ruins are extremely picturesque ; the abutments 
standing in various stages of decay, and the fallen frag- 
ments obstructing the course of the river; save at one 
point, towards the left bank, where the pent-up water 
finds an issue, and runs in a sluice among the scattering 
masses of stone. 


From the disheartening account we had received of the 
river, I had come to the conclusion that it might be ne- 
cessary to sacrifice one of the boats to preserve the rest. 
I therefore decided to take the lead in the " Fanny Ma- 
son ;" for, being made of copper, quite serious damages to 
her could be more easily repaired ; and if dashed to 
pieces, her fragments would serve to warn the others from 
the danger. 

After reconnoitering the rapid, at 5.05, we shot down 
the sluice. The following note was made on shore : 

" We halted at the ruins of an old bridge, now forming 
obstructions; over which the foaming river rushed like a 
mountain torrent. The river was about thirty yards 
wide. Soon after we halted, the boats hove in sight 
around a bend of the river. See ! the Fanny Mason 
attempts to shoot between two old piers ! she strikes 
upon a rock ! she broaches to ! she is in imminent danger ! 
down comes the Uncle Sam upon her ! now they are free ! 
the Fanny Skinner follows safely, and all are moored in 
the cave below !" 

As we came through the rapids, 'Akll stood upon the 
summit of one of the abutments, in his green cloak, red 
tarbouch and boots, and flowing white trousers, pointing 
out the channel with a spear. Over his head and around 
him, a number of storks were flying disorderly. 

What threatened to be its greatest danger, proved the 
preservation of the leading boat. We had swept upon a 
rock in mid-channel, when the Arab crew of the Uncle 
Sam unskilfully brought her within the influence of the 
current. She was immediately borne down upon us with 
great velocity ; but striking us at a favourable angle, we 
slided off the ledge of rock, and floated down together. 
The Fanny Skinner, drawing less water, barely touched 
in passing. 

The boats were securely moored for the night in a little 


cave on the right bank, and were almost hidden among 
the tall grass and weeds which break the force of the eddy 

From a boat drawing only eight inches water striking 
in mid-channel at this time of flood, I was inclined to 
think that the river must be very shallow in the summer 
months, particularly if much snow has not fallen among 
the mountains during the preceding winter. 

We found the tents pitched on a small knoll, com- 
manding a fine view of the river and the bridge. Over 
the ruins of the latter were yet hovering a multitude of 
storks, frightened from their reedy nests, on the tops of 
the ruined abutments, by the strange sights and sounds. 
There were two entire and six partial abutments, and 
the ruins of another, on each shore. The snowy crest of 
Mount Hermon bore N. E. iN. The village of Semakh, 
lying in an E. N. E. direction, was concealed by an inter- 
vening ridge. 

Our course, since leaving the lake, has varied from 
south to N. W. by N., — the general inclination has been 
west; river, twenty-five to thirty yards wide; current, two 
and a half knots ; water clear and sweet. We passed two 
islands, one of them very small. 

We were upon the edge of the Ghor. A little to the 
north, the Ardh el Hamma (the land of the bath) swept 
down from the left. The lake was concealed, although, 
in a direct line, quite near ; and a lofty ridge overlooked 
us from the west. The soil here is a dark rich loam, 
luxuriantly clothed three feet deep with flowers, — the 
purple bloom of the thistle predominates, and the yellow 
of the marigold and pink oleander are occasionally 
relieved by the scarlet anemone. The rocks nowhere 
crop-out, but large boulders of sandstone and trap are 
scattered over the surface. Some flowers were gathered 
here, which equal any I have ever seen in delicacy of 


form and tint. Among them, besides those I have named, 
were the Adonis or Pheasant's eye; the Briony, formerly 
used in medicine ; the Scabiosa Stellata, in great luxu- 
riance, and which is cultivated at home ; and two kinds 
of clover, — one with a thorny head, which we have never 
seen before, and the other small but beautiful, with purple 

From the eminence above, our encampment beside the 
rapids looked charming. There were two American, one 
Arab, and one Egyptian (Dr. Anderson's) tents, of differ- 
ent colours, — white and green, and blue and crimson. 
In the soft and mellow light of the moon, the scene was 

On this side is the land of Zebulon ; that of the tribe 
of Gad lies upon the other. 

The sheikh of Semakh holds a tract of land on a 
singular tenure. The condition is that he shall enter- 
tain all travellers who may call, with a supper, and 
barley for their horses. Our Bedawin determined to avail 
themselves of the privilege. Nothing could be more pic- 
turesque than their appearance as they forded the stream 
in single file, and galloped over the hill to Semakh. 
And what a supper they will have ! A whole sheep, 
and buckets of rice !* 

Our friends returned late at night, splashing the water, 
shouting, and making such a clatter that we sprang to 
our arms expecting an attack. Eepeatedly afterwards 
during the night we were disturbed by Dr. Anderson's 
horse, which, since the moment he joined us at Turan, 
had kept the camp in constant alarm, getting loose at 
night and rushing franticly over the tent-cords, attacking 
some slumbering Arab steed, his bitter enemy. 

Tuesday, April 11. Very early this morning culled for 

* Usually, when the sheikh is not wealthy, the tents of the tribe take it 
in turn to entertain strangers. 

\r h ,n^hA;i ! 


our collection two varieties of flowers we had not before 
seen. At 6 A. M., called all hands, and prepared for 
starting. To avoid stopping in the middle of the day, we 
were necessarily delayed for breakfast in the morning. 

8.10 A. M., started, the boats down the river, the cara- 
van by land. The current at first about 2i knots, but 
increasing as we descended, until at 8.20 we came to 
where the river, for more than three hundred yards, was 
one foaming rapid; the fishing-weirs and the ruins of 
another ancient bridge obstructing the passage. There 
were cultivated fields on both sides. Took everything 
out of the boats, sent the men overboard to swim 
alongside and guide them, and shot them successively 
down the first rapid. The water was fortunately very 
deep to the first fall, where it precipitated itself over a 
ledge of rocks. The river becoming more shallow, we 
opened a channel by removing large stones, and as the 
current was now excessively rapid, we pulled well out 
into the stream, bows up, let go a grapnel and eased each 
boat down in succession. Below us were yet five succes- 
sive falls, about eighteen feet in all, with rapids between, 
— a perfect breakdown in the bed of the river. It was 
very evident that the boats could not descend them. 

On the right of the river, opposite to the point where 
the weirs and the ruined bridge blocked up the bed of the 
stream, was a canal or sluice, evidently made for the pur- 
pose of feeding a mill, the ruins of which were visible a 
short distance below. This canal, at its outlet from the 
river, was sufficiently broad and deep to admit of the 
boats entering and proceeding for a short distance, when 
it became too narrow to allow their further progress. 

Bringing the boats thus far, we again took everything 
out of them, and cleared away the stones, bushes and other 
obstructions between the mill sluice and the river. A 
breach was then made in the bank of the sluice, and as 



the water rushed down the shallow artificial channel, 
with infinite labour, our men, cheerfully assisted by a 
number of Arabs, bore them down the rocky slope and 
launched them in the bed of the river, — but not below 
all danger, for a sudden descent of six or seven feet was 
yet to be cleared, and some eighty yards of swift and 
shallow current to be passed before reaching an unob- 
structed channel. 

1 P. M. We accomplished this difficult passage, after 
severe labour, up to our waists in the water for upwards 
of four hours. Hauled to the right bank to rest and 
wait for our arms, instruments, &c. We were surrounded 
by many strange Arabs, and had stationed one of our 
men by the blunderbuss on the bows of the Uncle Sam, 
and one each by the other boats, while the remainder 
proceeded to bring down the arms. 

We lay just above an abrupt bend from S. to N. E. by 
E. The left bank, in the bend, is sixty feet high, and 
precipitous, of a chocolate and cream-coloured earth. 
The river continues to descend, lessened in rapidity, but 
still about five knots per hour. It breaks entirely 
across, just below. There were thick clusters of white and 
pink oleander in bloom along the banks, and some lily- 
plants which had passed their season and were fading 
away. Here we killed an animal having the form of 
a lobster, the head of a mouse, and the tail of a dog : the 
Arabs call it kelb el maya, or water-dog. 

1.20 P. M., started again. 1.45, descended a cascade 
at an angle of 30°, at the rate of twelve knots, passing, 
immediately after, down a shoal rapid, where we struck, 
and hung, for a few moments, upon a rock. Stopped for 
the other boats, which were behind. The course of the 
river had been very circuitous, as reference to the chart 
will show. 

At 2.05, saw some of our caravan on a hill, in the dis- 


tance. Wet and weary, I walked along the difficult shore 
to look for the other boats, when, seeing a cluster of Be- 
dawin spears on the bank above, I went up to see to 
whom they belonged. It was a party of nine strange 
Arabs, who were seated upon the grass, their horses 
tethered near them. They examined my watch-guard 
and uniform buttons very closely; and eagerly looked 
over my shoulder, uttering many exclamations, when I 
wrote in my note-book. They repeatedly asked for some- 
thing which I could not understand, and as they began 
to be importunate, I left them. Shortly after, while 
walking further up, I came upon their low, black, camel's 
hair tent, almost concealed by a thicket of rank shrubbery. 

At 2.40, came to two mills, the buildings entire, but 
the wheels and machinery gone, with a sluice which had 
formerly supplied them with water. As in the morning, 
we turned the water from the upper part of the sluice 
into the river, carried the boats round, and dragged them 
safely round these second series of rapids. 

The soil is fertile, but the country about here is wholly 
uncultivated. The surface of the plain is about fifteen 
feet above the river, thence gradually ascending a short 
distance to a low range of hills ; beyond which, on each 
side, the prospect is closed in by mountains. 

At 4.45, stopped to rest, after descending the eleventh 
rapid we had encountered. The velocity of the current 
was so great that one of the seamen, who lost his hold 
(being obliged to cling on outside), was nearly swept over 
the fall, and, with very great difficulty, gained the shore. 
The mountains on the east coast of Lake Tiberias were 
visible over the left bank. The summit of Mount Her- 
mon (the snowy summit could alone be seen) bore N. E. 
by N. 

At 5 P. M., passed a ravine (wady) on the left, in a 
bend between high, precipitous banks of earth. We here 


saw canes for the first time, growing thickly. On the 
right are lofty, perpendicular banks of earth and clay. 
The river winding with many turns, we opened, at 5.04, 
an extensive uncultivated plain on the right; a small, 
transverse, cultivated valley, between high banks, on 
the left ; — the wheat beginning to head. The river fifty- 
five yards wide and two and a half feet deep. Current, 
four knots; the water becoming muddy. We saw a 
partridge, an owl, a large hawk, some herons (hedda), 
and many storks, and caught a trout. 

At 5.10, rounded a high, bold bluff, the river becoming 
wider and deeper, with gravelly bottom. A solitary carob 
tree, resembling a large apple tree, . on the right. At 
5.40, the river about sixty yards wide, and current three 
knots, passed the village of ' Abeidiyeh, a large collection of 
mud huts, on a commanding eminence on the right ; — the 
people, men, women, and children, with discordant cries, 
hurrying down the hill towards the river when they saw 
us. It was too late to stop, for night was approaching, 
and we had seen nothing of the caravan since we parted 
with them, at the ruined bridge, this forenoon. 

If the inhabitants intended to molest us, we swept by 
with too much rapidity for them to carry their designs 
into execution. 5.44, passed a small stream coming in 
on the right. 5.46, another small stream, same side, 150 
yards below the first ; some swallows and snipes flying 
about. 5.48, passed a bank of fullers' earth, twenty feet 
high, on the left ; a beautiful bank on the right, clothed 
with luxuriant verdure ; the rank grass here and there 
separated by patches of wild oats. 

The mountain ranges forming the edges of the upper 
valley, as seen from time to time through gaps in the 
foliage of the river banks, were of a light brown colour, 
surmounted with white. 

The water now became clearer, — was eight feet deep; 


hard bottom ; small trees in thickets under the banks, and 
advancing into the water — principally Turfa (tamarisk), 
the willow (Sifsaf), and tangled vines beneath. 

We frequently saw fish in the transparent water ; while 
ducks, storks, and a multitude of other birds, rose from 
the reeds and osiers, or plunged into the thickets of 
oleander and tamarisk which fringe the banks, — beyond 
them are frequent groves of the wild pistachio. 

Half a mile below 'Abeidiyeh the river became deeper, 
with a gentle descent, — current, three and a half knots. 
6.15, passed a small island covered with grass: started up 
a flock of ducks and some storks ; a small bay on the left, 
a path leading down to it from over the hills ; canes and 
coarse tufted grass on the shores. 6.19, another inlet on 
the left; 6.21, one on the right. The left shore quite 
marshy, — high land back ; the water again became clear, 
and of a light green colour, as when it left the lake ; many 
birds flying about, particularly swallows. 

At 8 P. M., reached the head of the falls and whirlpool 
of Biik' ah; and finding it too dark to proceed, hauled the 
boats to the right bank, and clambered up the steep hill 
to search for the camp. About one-third up, encountered 
a deep dyke, cut in the flank of the hill, which had evi- 
dently been used for purposes of irrigation. After follow- 
ing it for some distance, succeeded in fording it, and going 
to the top of the hill, had to climb in the dark, through 
briars and over stone walls, the ruins of the village of 
Delhemiyeh. A short distance beyond, met a Bedawin 
with a horse, who had been sent to look for us. Learned 
from him that the camp was half a mile below the whirl- 
pool, and abreast of the lower rapids. Sent word to Mr. 
Aulick to secure the boats, and bring the men up as soon 
as they were relieved, and hastened on myself to pro- 
cure the necessary guards, for our men were excessively 
fatigued, having been in the water without food since 


breakfast. A few moments after, I met 'Akil, also look- 
ing for us. At my request, he sent some of his men to 
relieve ours, in charge of the boats. 

The village of Delhemiyeh, as well as that of Buk'ah 
opposite, were destroyed, it is said, by the Bedawin, the 
wandering Arabs. Many of the villages on and near the 
river are inhabited by Egyptians, placed there by Ibrahim 
Pasha, to repress the incursions of the Bedawin — some- 
what on our plan of the military occupation of Florida. 
Now that the strong arm of the Egyptian " bull-dog," as 
Stephens aptly terms him, is withdrawn, the fate of these 
villages is not surprising. The Bedawin in their incur- 
sions rob the fellahin of their produce and their crops. 
Miserable and unarmed, the latter abandon their villages 
and seek a more secure position, or trust to chance to 
supply themselves with food (for of raiment they seem to 
have no need,) until the summer brings the harvest and 
the robber. Once abandoned, their huts fall into as much 
ruin as they are susceptible of, which is nothing more 
than the washing away of the roofs by the winter rains. 

Although I knew it to be important to note everything 
we passed, and every aspect of the country, yet such was 
the acute responsibility I felt for the lives placed in my 
charge, that nearly all my faculties were absorbed in the 
management of the boats — hence the meagreness of these 
observations. As some amends, I quote from the notes 
of the land party. 

" Our route lay through an extensive plain, luxuriant 
in vegetation, and presenting to view in uncultivated 
spots, a richness of alluvial soil, the produce of which, 
with proper agriculture, might nourish a vast population. 
On our route as we advanced, and within half an hour 
(distance is measured by time in this country) from the 
last halting-place, were four or five black tents, belonging 
to those tribes of Arabs called fellahin, or agriculturists, 


as distinguished from the wandering warrior Arab, who 
considers such labour as ignoble and unmanly. 

" Enclosing these huts was a low fence of brush, which 
served to confine the gambols of eight or ten young naked 
barbarians, who, together with a few sheep and a calf, 
were enjoying a romp in the sunshine, disregarding the 
heat. We declined the invitation to alight, but accepted 
a bowl of camel's milk, which proved extremely re- 

"A miserable collection of mud huts upon a most com- 
manding site, called 'Abeidiyeh, attracted our attention 
as we passed it. The wild and savage looking inhabit- 
ants rushed from their hovels and clambered up their 
dirt-heaps to see the gallant sight — the swarthy Bedawin, 
the pale Franks, and the laden camels. Still further on, 
we passed the ruins of two Arab villages, one on each 
side of the Jordan, and upon elevations of corresponding 
height, ' Delhemiyeh' and ' Buk'ah.' 

" Below these villages, and close upon the Jordan's 
bank, where the river in places foamed over its rocky 
bed with the fury of a cataract, we pitched the camp. 
Here we were to await the arrival of the boats. At 2.30 
we encamped, and at 5 they had not yet arrived. The 
sun set and night closed upon us, and yet no signs of 
them. We became uneasy, and were about mounting to 
go in search of them, when the captain made his appear- 

About 9 P. M., Emir Nasser, with his suite, came to 
the tent. After the customary cup of coffee he said that 
he would go with us to Bahr Lut (Dead Sea), or wherever 
else I wished, from pure affection, but that his followers 
would expect to be paid, and requested to know how 
many I required; how far they were to go, and what 
remuneration to receive. I replied that I was then too 
weary to discuss the matter, but would tell him in the 


morning, and he retired. Either from exposure, or 
fatigue, or the effect of the water, one of the seamen was 
attacked with dysentery. I anxiously hoped that he 
would be better in the morning, for each one was now 
worth a host. 

Our encampment was a romantic one. Above was the 
whirlpool ; abreast, and winding below, glancing in the 
moonlight, was the silvery sheen of the river ; and high 
up, on each side, were the ruined villages, whence the 
peaceful fellahin had been driven by the predatory robber. 
The whooping of the owl above, the song of the bulbul 
below, were drowned in the onward rush and deafening 
roar of the tumultuous waters. 

We were now approaching the part of our route consi- 
dered the most perilous, from the warlike character of the 
nomadic tribes it was probable we should encounter. It 
therefore behoved us to be vigilant ; — and notwithstand- 
ing the land party had been nearly all day on horseback, 
and the boats' crews for a longer period in the water, the 
watches could not be dispensed with ; and one officer and 
two men, for two hours at a time, kept guard around the 
camp, with the blunderbuss mounted for immediate use 
in front. 

Every one lay down with his cartridge-belt on, and his 
arms beside him. It was the dearest wish of my heart 
to carry through this enterprise without bloodshed, or the 
loss of life ; but we had to be prepared for the worst. 
Average width of river to-day, forty yards ; depth from 
two and a half to six feet ; descended nine rapids, three 
of them terrific ones. General course, E. S. E. ; passed 
one island. 

It was a bright moonlight night ; the dew fell heavily, 
and the air was chilly. But neither the beauty of the 
night, the wild scene around, the bold hills, between 
which the river rushed and foamed, a cataract, nor moon- 


light upon the ruined villages, nor tents pitched upon the 
shore, watch-fires blazing, and the Arab bard singing 
sadly to the sound of his rebabeh,* could, with all the 
spirit of romance, keep us long awake. With our hands 
upon our firelocks, we slept soundly ; the crackle of the 
dry wood of the camp-fires, and the low sound of the 
Arab's song, mingling with our dreams; dreams, per- 
chance, as pleasant as those of Jacob at Bethel; for, 
although our pillows were hard, and our beds the native 
earth, we were upon the brink of the sacred Jordan ! 

*The rebabeh is shaped like a miniature spade, with a short handle; 
the lowest and widest part, covered with sheepskin on both sides, is about 
one inch thick and five wide. The ghoss (bow) is simply a bent stick, 
with horse-hair for strings. This instrument is, perhaps, a coarser speci- 
men of the nokhara khana, which is played before the gateways of palaces 
in Persia. 




Wednesday, April 12. Went out at daybreak this 
morning to look at the whirlpool and rapids, above and 
below the camp. My ankle feeling sore, from a sprain 
yesterday, I returned for a horse, and rode nearly down 
to where the Yarmak (ancient Hieromax) falls into the 
Jordan from the east, when I saw Sherif coming rapidly 
towards me, on his spirited mare, and calling out, in an 
angry tone, to some Arabs, who, I now perceived, were 
approaching under cover of the bank. They turned 
back, and when he joined me he said nothing about them, 
but kept close by me the remainder of the ride. He 
ordered these people about as if he were a sovereign. 
During the ride, he was of great service in assisting me 
to gather flowers, of which there was a profusion ; among 
them were the "bisbas," a yellow, and the bughuk, a 
crimson flower. The last like the mullen, except that 
each flower grows on a separate stem, branching out at 
the top, some distance from the main stalk. It was seven 
feet high, a miniature tree in blossom. The banks were 
fringed with the laurestinus, the oleander, the willow, and 
the tamarisk ; and farther inland, on the slope of the 
second terrace, grew a small species of oak and the cedar. 
The arbutus (strawberry tree) was mingled with the 
flowers of the plain. From the banks to the elevated 
ridges, on either side, the grass and the flowers presented 
a surface of luxuriance and beauty. 



Picked up some specimens of quartz and trap. The 
chain of transverse hills through which the Jordan forces 
its way, is most probably that which separates the Ardh 
el Hamma from the vale of Jezrael. 

The tribes through whose territories we had passed 
thus far, as given to me by 'Akil, were the Beshatewa, 
one hour above and below the bridge of Semakh, number- 
ing two hundred fighting men ; next, the 'Obeidiyeh, on 
both sides, one hour back from the river, mustering five 
hundred ; and the Es Siikr, in whpse territories we were 
now encamped, numbering three hundred warriors. 

About three hours from this, on an eminence, at the 
foot of which flows the Yermak, was Um Keis (the mother 
of ruins), the ancient Gadara. This place, restored by 
Pompey the Great, is said to contain magnificent ruins, 
in an extraordinary state of preservation. In its won- 
derful tombs, it is believed that the demoniac of the 
Gospel dwelt, when our Lord performed a miracle ; and 
in its hot baths is laid the strange scene of incantation in 
the life of Iamblicus, where he is said to have called up 
the spirits of Eros and Anteros.* 

As the hot baths indicated the existence of volcanic 
characters, which might throw light upon the geological 
structure of that region, I gave Dr. Anderson an escort, 
and directed him to diverge from the line of march, visit 
Um Keis, and rejoin us at the appointed place of rendez- 
vous at night. 

The trap continued on both sides, with occasional inter- 
ruptions of limestone, sandstone, and conglomerate. 

Lake Tiberias was but four hours distant, in a direct 
line ; although we had been a day and a half on the river, 
so tortuous is its course, and so interrupted is its channel. 

Before starting this morning, I sent for the elder sherif 

* Quarterly Review. 


and 'Akll, and told them, and desired them to repeat to 
the Emir, that we did not ask for, and would neither 
buy nor receive, protection: — that we were willing to 
pay for guides and provisions, and for all services ren- 
dered in descending the river, as well as for all damage 
we might occasion to weirs or mill-dams, — but for nothing 
more ; and that the Emir and his guides would not be 
required beyond the limits of their territory. They said 
that we were perfectly right ; but as the Emir had tra- 
velled to Tubariyeh to welcome us, and, with his people, 
had since been very useful, suggested that a present 
should be made to him. This was reasonable ; and the 
Emir received an aba and a koofeeyah. Among other 
things, we had provided ourselves in Acre with articles 
of Arab wearing apparel for occasions like the present. 
In this country, it is usual to pay the followers of a sheikh 
for services in money ; but to the sheikh himself, a present 
is made. With much other judicious advice, the Rev. 
Mr. Smith had in Beirut cautioned me not to employ the 
Arabs of one tribe as guides through the territories of 

The " Uncle Sam" had sunk, notwithstanding all our 
exertions to keep her afloat. Built of wood, she was less 
elastic than our metallic boats, and the thumps upon the 
rocks which only indented the last, shattered her. Thus 
ended all our hopes of transporting the tents from place 
to place along the Dead Sea, and thereby protect the 
party from the dews of night. In every evil, however, 
there is an antidote, and we now had conclusive proof of 
the superior qualities of metallic boats for such service. 
Frame boats, constructed even in the strongest manner, 
would sooner or later have shared the fate of the " Uncle 

Having reconnoitred in the morning from where the 
boats lay to the Yermak, we went immediately after 


breakfast to endeavour to bring the former down. With 
a lofty hill, the terminus of a lateral range on each side, 
there was no possibility of conveying them round the 
falls, and we had, therefore, to shoot them. The current 
was too strong to use the grapnel. 

At 10.15 A. M., cast off and shot down the first rapid, 
and stopped to examine more closely a desperate-looking 
cascade of eleven feet. In the middle of the channel was 
a shoot at an angle of about sixty degrees, with a bold, 
bluff, threatening rock at its foot, exactly in the passage. 
It would therefore be necessary to turn almost at a sharp 
angle in descending, to avoid being dashed to pieces. 
This rock was on the outer edge of the whirlpool, which, 
a caldron of foam, swept round and round in circling 
eddies. Yet below were two fierce rapids, each about 150 
yards in length, with the points of black rocks peering 
above the white and agitated surface. Below them again, 
within a mile, were two other rapids — longer, but more 
shelving and less difficult. 

Fortunately a large bush was growing upon the left 
bank, about five feet up, where the wash of the water 
from above had formed a kind of promontory. By swim- 
ming across some distance up the stream, one of the men 
had carried over the end of a rope and made it fast around 
the roots of the bush. The great doubt was whether the 
hold of the roots would be sufficient to withstand the 
strain, but there was no alternative. In order not to risk 
the men, I employed some of the most vigorous Arabs in 
the camp to swim by the side of the boats, and guide 
them, if possible, clear of danger. Landing the men, 
therefore, and tracking the Fanny Mason up stream, we 
shot her across, and gathering in the slack of the rope, 
let her drop to the brink of the cascade, where she 
fairly trembled and bent in the fierce strength of the 
sweeping current. It was a moment of intense anxiety. 


The sailors had now clambered along the banks and stood 
at intervals below, ready to assist us if thrown from the 
boat and swept towards them. One man, with me in the, 
boat, stood by the line ; a number of naked Arabs were 
upon the rocks and in the foaming water gesticulating 
wildly, their shouts mingling with the noise of the bois- 
terous rapids, and their dusky forms contrasting strangely 
with the effervescing flood, and four on each side, in the 
water, were clinging to the boat, ready to guide her clear 
of the threatening rock if possible. 

The Fanny Mason, in the meanwhile, swayed from side 
to side of the mad torrent, like a frightened steed, straining 
the line which held her. Watching the moment when 
her bows were brought in the right direction, I gave the 
signal to let go the rope. There was a rush, a plunge, an 
upward leap, and the rock was cleared, the pool was 
passed, and, half full of water, with breathless velocity, 
we were swept safely down the rapid. Such screaming 
and shouting ! the Arabs seemed to exult more than our- 
selves. It was in seeming only, they were glad ; but we 
were grateful. Two of the Arabs lost their hold and 
were carried far below us, but were rescued with a slight 
injury to one of them. 

It was exactly twelve o'clock when we cleared the cas- 
cade. Mr. Aulick soon followed in the " Fanny Skin- 
ner," and by his skill and coolness passed down in perfect 

Stopping sufficiently long to give the men and the 
Arabs who had assisted us some warm coffee, we started 
again at .45 P. M., and at one o'clock had completed the 
descent of the third rapid to-day. Hard work for all 

At 1.45, passed down the fourth fall and a shelving 
rapid of one third of a mile. Hauled over to the right 
bank, just above a shelving rapid, with a yet more ugly 


sheer at an abrupt angle, and waited for the "Fanny 
Skinner." Sent for the arms, and gave directions for the 
caravan to proceed to Jisr el Mejamia (bridge of place 
of meeting), about three miles distant by land, but much 
v farther, and far more difficult, by the river. It was repre- 
sented by our friends as the only place where the caravan 
and boats could meet that night, and where, in the 
opinion of Sherif, yet greater difficulties awaited us. 

Gathered some geological specimens, and afterwards, 
as our awnings, sails, &c, had been left in the camp to 
lighten the boats, and the sun was beginning to warm 
up, I took shelter under an oleander bush in full bloom. 
But its fragrance above (for the oleander is here frag- 
rant) scarce compensated for the annoyance of the insects 
beneath it. Soon, from sheer fatigue, I fell asleep, and 
was awakened by the sun shining full upon me. We 
here saw some wire-grass for the first time. The water 
had a sweet taste. 

At 2.30, the caravan passed about a mile off, a camel 
being detached towards us with our arms. When it came 
up, as all the arms had been packed away, I imprudently 
consented to let them be carried back to the caravan, 
taking out only a few weapons that were convenient. At 
3.15, saw the caravan again, creeping along the crest of 
the high hills to the southward, in an extended and pic- 
turesque line. There is no road ; — in other words, no 
camel or mule track. 

At 3.50, the "Fanny Skinner" came down, and we 
descended the fourth rapid, rounding back from W. S. W. 
to S. E. by S. in a distance of ninety yards. 4 P. M., 
shot the equally circuitous but less difficult rapid below. 

At 4.20, passed the mouth of the Yarmak (Hiero- 
max), forty yards wide, with moderate current, its centre 
bearing E. \ S. 4.22, passed an island twelve feet high, 
covered with grass and weeds. 4.48, a small island — 


river very rapid — abreast of this island, the most perilous 
part of our passage, owing to great velocity of current, 
about twelve miles an hour, and some sunken rocks, one 
of which we escaped by about two inches. . 

At 4.32, stopped to examine a bend of the river. 4.45, 
rounded the bend, a bold, precipitous cliff on the left, a 
flat peninsula on the right, covered with luxuriant grass 
and weeds — some resembling the cheat, and others the 
timothy. At 4.55, a very steep and tumultuous rapid. 
On hands and knees I climbed an almost perpendicular 
hill-side to examine for a passage. The hill-side and 
summit were thickly clothed with grass and flowers, 
which rendered it very slippery to climb. 

The hill was about three hundred feet high, and the 
view from the summit wild and peculiar. The high allu- 
vial terraces on each side are everywhere shaped by the 
action of the winter rains into a number of conical hills, 
some of them pyramidal and cuniform, presenting the ap- 
pearance of a giant encampment, so perfectly tent-like 
were their shapes. This singular configuration extends 
southward as far as the eye can reach. At intervals I 
caught a glimpse of the river in its graceful meanderings, 
sometimes glittering like a spear-head through an opening 
in the foliage of its banks, and again, clasping some little 
island with its shining arms, or, far away, snapping with 
the fierceness and white foam of a torrent by some pro- 
jecting point. 

Fortunately there were some bushes on the right bank, 
which determined me to attempt the descent. Bearing 
the boats as far down as we could hold them against the 
current, we fastened the end of a rope to a bush and 
lowered them down to near its end; then sheering in 
shore, fastened the rope to another bush, lowered away, 
and dropped through one of the most frightful rapids we 
had yet encountered. It was near sunset when both 


boats had accomplished the passage, and it became neces- 
sary in so wild a country to make every exertion to reach 
our friends, for we had but one carbine and three pistols 
with us. 

After shooting two more slight rapids, we came, at 
6.15, in sight of Jisr Mejamia (bridge of the place of 
meeting), above which we landed on the right shore, and 
ascended the cliff to examine the fall and rapid immedi- 
ately below. 

A ruined khan crowned the crest of the hill, at the foot 
of which large masses of volcanic rock or tufa were lying 
about, as if shaken from the solid mass by the spasm of 
an earthquake. The khan had evidently been a solid 
structure and destroyed by some convulsion, so scattered 
were the thick and ponderous masses of masonry. The 
bridge gracefully spans the river at this point. It has 
one large and three smaller Saracenic arches below, and 
six smaller ones above them, four on the east and two on 
the west side. The river, deep, narrow, and impetuous, 
flows through the larger arch and immediately branches, — 
the left arm rushing down a nearly perpendicular fall of 
about eight feet, and scarce a boat's length ahead encoun- 
ters the bold rock of the eastern bank, which deflects it 
sharply to the right. The right branch, winding by an 
island in the centre, and spreading over a great space, is 
shallow and breaks over a number of rocks. 

Above and below the bridge and in the bed of the 
river are huge blocks of trap and conglomerate ; and al- 
most immediately opposite is a great fissure exposing per- 
pendicular layers of basalt, the structure distinct, black, 
and porous. Upon the left bank, which is about sixty 
feet above the river, a short distance up, were twenty or 
thirty black Bedawin tents, with a number of camels 
grazing around, — the men seated in groups — the women, 
the drudges of each tribe, passing to and fro, busied appa- 
17 N 


rently in culinary preparations, and near them some chil- 
dren playing. We decided to try the right branch, for 
we dreaded these ugly leaps. 

In some instances during the day the rapids had been 
perfect cataracts, down which the boats plunged. with 
such velocity as to drive them over the rocks below, upon 
which they would otherwise have rested, from the shal- 
lowness of the water. 

At 6.24, resumed the oars, shot through the main arch 
and down about two hundred yards of the descent to the 
right, when it becoming too dark, hauled to the bank and 
made fast for the night. Took everything out of the 
boats and proceeded with the crews to the camp, about a 
quarter of a mile below. Our main course had been 
S. S. W., but the river was very serpentine. We descended 
three very threatening and four less difficult rapids. The 
only tributary passed was the Yarmak, coming in from 
the east, as wide and as deep nearly as the Jordan. The 
current was very rapid, averaging eight miles per hour. 

Our tents were pitched upon a small promontory, com- 
manding a fine view of the ruined khan and the bridge, 
with the river dashing and foaming through its arch. 
Directly in front, the river, filled with fragmentary rocks, 
is quite wide, and, separating into several channels, forms 
some small sedgy islands, where snipe were flitting about, 
and discordant frogs were croaking. 

The bridge is on the road from Nabulus, through Bei- 
san, to Damascus. The second place, now in ruins, was 
the Bethsean of the Bible and Scythopolis of the Greeks. 
Saul and his three sons, after the defeat of Mount Gilboa, 
threw themselves upon their swords, and their bodies 
were exposed from the walls of this town. 

"Mejamia" means "place of meeting." Can this be 
the place called by Jacob, " Mahanaim" (place of meet- 
ing), where the angels of God met him ? 


At noon to-day the thermometer stood at 90° in the 
shade. The elder sherif (who by way of distinction we 
call tlie sherif) and 'Akil frequently visited us in our tent. 
The former was our counsellor, sagacious and prudent; 
the latter was the bold warrior and the admirable scout. 
On the march, it was said that he contrived to get a sight 
of the boats when no one else could. We never tired of 
the company of this graceful savage. Altogether, he was 
the most perfect specimen of manhood we had seen. 
Looking at his fine face, almost effeminate in its regu- 
larity of feature, who would imagine that he had been 
the stern leader of revolt, and that his laughing, careless 
eye had ever glanced from his stronghold on the hill upon 
the Pasha's troops in the plain, meditating slaughter in 
their ranks and booty from the routed Turk ; or searched 
the ravines and the hill-sides, the wady and the valley, 
for the lurking fellahin and their herds? That arm 
which then, in its easy and graceful position, seemed 
almost nerveless, had wielded the scimitar with fatal 
strength ; and lie, seemingly so mild, had successfully led 
a small but desperate band against the authority of the 
sultan, and forced the governor of Acre to treat with 
him, and purchase the security of the district with a high 
office and the crimson pelisse of honour. 

'Akil did not excel in physical qualities alone ; his 
intelligence was far above mediocrity; and although a 
barbarian, he had much of the manners and feelings of a 
gentleman. Indeed, we had never seen manners more 
courtly, or an address more winning, than his. Sherif 
was the Nestor, and 'Akil the Achilles, of our camp. 

When 'Akil was this evening asked why he did not 
settle down on some of the fertile lands in his district, 
and no longer live on pillage, his reply was, " Would you 
have me disgrace myself, and till the ground like one of 
the fellahin ?" 


When I told him that many of our most eminent men 
were tillers of the ground, his smile was more of a con- 
temptuous one than we had ever seen upon his handsome 
features. This genuine barbarian owned a small pistol, 
which he has been known to give loaded to his children 
for a plaything. 

We were all fatigued, and retired early to our hard but 
welcome beds. The moon was almost at her full, and 
the same wild scene of Arabs' tents, tethered horses, and 
watch-fires, with the strange, monotonous, song of the Be- 
dawin bard, formed a repetition of last night's romance. 
Early in the evening, Dr. Anderson returned.* In the 

* The following is an extract from Dr. Anderson's notes of his visit to 
the ruins of Gadara : — 

"At 9.15 A.M., left to visit Um Keis. Trap exposed at the banks of 
the Jordan. Ascended the plain on the east side, in a south-easterly direc- 
tion at first. Crossed the Sheriat el Mandur, by a bridge in good preserva- 
tion, called Jisr el Ahmar. The sides of the stream rocky and water-worn 
— trap, with basaltic fissures. Water running with rapid current. Occa- 
sionally cascades. 

" 10.15. Apparently in the middle of the great plain. The view down 
the Ghor is uninterrupted. Atmosphere very clear. Hermon seen on right 
of the north end of the Ghor. 

" 10.50. Had crossed the great plain (terrace ?). The southern extremity 
of the Ghor bears S. 30° W. The shores of the Dead Sea faintly visible. 
The surface of the plain a brown, loamy soil. Vegetation very rank. 

" 11.02. Half-way up the bluff, on the east side of the Jordan, limestone 
and trap. 

"11.15. On the plain, near the summit. View of Lake Tiberias and 

" 11.19. Saw on right of road two fallen columns, formed of a conglo- 
merate rock. 

" 11.30. On right of Wady el 'Arab, many Biitm trees (Pistacia tere- 

" The guides brought me here, frequent specimens of esculent roots, 
having, the most of them, a not unpleasant taste. One of these is the root 
of a plant resembling the burdock, which they called rejateh. It tastes 
something like a young and very tender radish, without its pungency. 


forenoon, the weather was warm ; towards noon it clouded 
up and looked like rain, but in the evening, cleared away 
and was pleasant. 

We are in the land of Issachar, that of Gad still 

There is another, resembling this, called the harfish, tasting a little like 
the green stalks of young celery, but more juicy and less aromatic. 

"11.53. Fairly on the summit-plain, which extends horizontally for 
miles around. The rock is trap, the soil good. Our course was here, 
E. 15° N. Cultivated fields of barley. 

" 11.56. Urn Keis in sight, east of us, a mile or more distant. 

" 12.10. The road runs east; then, 12.12, E. S. E. for seven minutes; 
then east again. 

" 12.20. A number of broken and fallen columns on the right of the 
road. Some of conglomerate, some of trap. 

M Before us, a descent of no great depth, and the ruins on the slope east 
of it. 

" 12.26. Urn Keis. No inhabitants — no habitable buildings. 

" The remains of Gadara occupy an eminence, with an inconsiderable 
valley on the west side, and a steeper and deeper one on the north. The 
ground southwardly inclines, with some undulations, towards the Wady 
el 'Arab. 

" The descent on the north is determined by the Wady el Yarmak. 
The ruins comprise a spacious area, covered with many broken columns, 
&.C., a large theatre, a smaller inclosure, and a necropolis. 

" The walls may be traced very distinctly on the west side of the great 
area, and less obviously on the east. The main part of the miscellaneous 
ruins lies north of the theatre. With some difficulty, I could refer the 
fragments to distinct buildings, and distinguish passages, which may have 
been determined by lanes or streets. 

"The columns are principally of Hauran basalt, rudely sculptured, a 
few still standing on their original pedestals ; some are of a calcareous 
conglomerate, brought from the neighbouring hills. Towards the N. E., 
I observed a few sarcophagi. The ruins here are so buried in weeds and 
brambles, that it is not easy to make them out. 

" The theatre has the form of a half-oval, the longer semi-axis running 
nearly east and west, — opening on the west. The short diameter, or 
breadth of the edifice, measured inside of the inclosure, is about eighty 
feet; including the inclosure, about 120 feet. 

" The long semi-diameter, reckoning from the rear of the seats to the 



Thursday, April 13. Hearing that Muhammed Pasha, 
military governor of the district of Nabulus, was encamped 
in the Valley of Esdraelon (Jezrael?), a short distance 
from Beisan, I sent Lieutenant Dale, this morning, to call 
upon him. I considered this a becoming mark of respect ; 

middle of the open part, is little short of the interior breadth. Fifteen 
steps, or seats, separated at the fifth by one much higher than the others, 
ascend from the arena to the platform of the inclosing walls. 

" At the upper edge of each step is a cornice of several inches in breadth. 
Every part of this building appears to have been constructed of the Hauran 
basalt, which, though porous, is of a very firm texture. The seats are in- 
terrupted by five passages, converging towards the centre of the open 
space below. Beside these adits are the remains of two others, correspond- 
ing with the western base. 

" Exterior to the seats are three concentric walls, furnishing a covered 
corridor of eighteen or twenty feet width within, and an outer opening oc- 
cupied by staircases ascending to the upper gallery on a level with the 
hinder seats. The lower lobbies are arched, where necessary, with circular 
arches formed of large blocks. On the walls of these passages I observed 
frequently single letters of the Roman alphabet, with several stones marked 
with Arabic numerals, and not unfrequently stars, crosses, and other sym- 
bolic characters of different creeds and times. 

" I was told that the warm springs were about an hour and a half dis- 
tant, towards the N. E. The necessity of returning before night obliged 
me reluctantly to give up the idea of going to them. They have been de- 
scribed by Irbyand Mangles, Seetzen and Buckingham. 

u From the brow of the hill there is a fine view of nearly the entire lake 
of Tiberias, including the valley of the Hieromax in the foreground, and 
Mount Hermon in the distance. 

" 4.40 P. M. We descended into the Ghor by the path we had taken in 
going up ; but, in crossing the plain, struck a course south of the morning 
track, towards a point where we expected to find the camp. The trap 
was again traceable in fragments, gradually diminishing in size until within 
a half hour's ride of the Jordan. On the eastern cliff, south, if I remember, 
of the Wady el' Arab, I was shown the village of Sidum'ad, where a few 
fellahin, by the payment of an annual tribute, still maintained themselves 
against the encroachments of the nomad tribes. Along the higher hills, 
far inwardly, might be seen two or three clusters of black tents, belonging 
to the Bedawin of Es Seru. Down the Ghor, as far as the eye could reach, 
a forest of weeds and thisvles draw from the teeming soil a sustenance that 


for, except Sa'id Bey, the Turkish officers have been very 
civil to us. 

Although it threatened rain yesterday, this morning's 
sky was cloudless. After much labour we succeeded in 
getting the boats down the rapids uninjured, except a 
few indentations in the bilge, and got on board the arms 
and instruments. At 9.30, started at the same time with 
the caravan. As we would to-day reach the utmost 
limits of cultivation, and approach the lower Ghor — a 
perfect desert, traversed by warlike tribes, — Sherif 
warned me to be prepared. I therefore mounted the 
blunderbuss on the bows of the Fanny Mason. Formi- 
dable it must have looked, with its gaping mouth, pointed 
down stream, and threatening slugs and bullets to all 

At 10.40, came to an ugly rapid, a long, thatched hut 
on the right bank. Notwithstanding all our efforts, 
the Fanny Mason struck and broached-to, broadside on, 
against the rocks beneath the surface, and was thrown 
upon her bilge, taking in a quantity of water. For some 
moments, I feared that she would go to pieces ; but, all 
hands jumping overboard, her combined strength and 
buoyancy carried her safely over. On the first heights 
of the Ghor, to the eastward, is the village Siclum'ad ; 
and the village Jum'ah, on the western bank. At 9.40, 
passed the village of Kaukab el Hauma, visible to the 
west, on a lofty height, which presents trap-rock with 

might have fed the half of Palestine. It was too plain that we had reached 
a land where property was a crime. 

" 6. The descent from the upper terrace of the Ghor to the present val- 
ley of the Jordan is here a gradual one. Very near the stream a more 
sudden change of level is apparent, but there was nothing to prevent our 
coming down to the bridge El Mejami'ah at a gallop. On both sides of 
the river the polygonal structure of the rock is very remarkable, and we 
passed for several hundred yards over the uncovered heads of enormous 
vertical prisms of columnar basalt. The upper surface was excessively 
rough and uneven." 


fissures. 10.12, a rapid. At 11.02, we heard a small 
tributary falling in, from S. E. by E., but, owing to the 
thicket, could not see it. A village in sight on a hill 
far to S. E. 

There are evidently two terraces to the Jordan, and 
through the lowest one, the river runs its labyrinthine 
course. From the stream, above the immediate banks, 
there is, on each side, a singular terrace of low hills, like 
truncated cones (of the upper terrace of which I have 
spoken), which is but the bluff terminus of an extended 
table-land, reaching quite to the base of the mountains of 
Hauran on the east, and the high hills on the western 
side. Their peculiarity of form is attributable, perhaps, 
to the washing of rain through a long series of years. 
The hill-sides presented the appearance of chalk, without 
the slightest vestige of vegetation, and were absolutely 
blinding, from the reverberated sunlight. 

At times we would be perfectly becalmed, the trees 
and bushes which lined the banks intercepting the light 
air that came down from the mountains ; — when, even at 
this early season, the heat would be intense ; and the 
birds, ceasing to sing, hid themselves among the foliage, 
from which even the noise we made could not startle 

There is nothing more vivid than the impression made 
by such scenes — the stillness of an untrodden wilderness, 
when "the slightest sound makes an onslaught upon 
silence," — a silence rarely broken, except by the noise of 
the far-distant rapid, which comes upon the ear like the 
wind when it sweeps the dry leaves of autumn before it. 

On one of these occasions, when the stream was sha- 
dowed by the graceful oleander, the low, drooping willow 
and the fern-like tamarisk, and a stillness audible pre- 
vailed, we were swept sharply round the base of a high 
barren bluff, towards the opposite shore, when it became 


necessary to pull out again into the channel. In so 
doing, the water-worn banks distinctly echoed the steady 
beat of the oars in the rullocks ; but it was soon after lost 
in the hoarse murmur of the rapid we were approaching, 
which went surging over the shallows in its burly, blus- 
tering course. 

At 11.20, passed an island about a quarter of a mile 
long, with many trees upon it. A singular gap in the 
mountains to the southward. 

Heretofore the course of the river had varied to every 
quarter of the compass, but to-day it preserved a more 
southerly direction. The prevailing growth upon the 
banks were the ghurrah (like the aspen), the turfa 
(tamarisk), sifsaf (willow), and difleh (oleander). The 
principal flowers had been the bisbas (yellow), and the 
baghuk (a crimson one) . 

At 11.25, Castle Kaukab (star), the Belvoir of the 
crusaders, bore W. by N. Soon after reached Zor el Ba- 
sha, the territories of the tribe el Gaurineh (Emir Nas- 
sir's), occupying two hours on the banks of the river, and 
numbering three hundred fighting men. 11.40, stopped 
to take observations for the latitude. 

There were many wild pigeons flying about, some of 
them very large. At 12.09, started again; passed two 
successive but slight rapids, with many trees in the 
stream. 12.30, stopped to rest in a grove of tamarisk ; 
the weather becoming warmer every day. We were 
changing our climate in a twofold manner, by descent and 
by progress southward. We found here the " derukma," 
a pleasant tasted vegetable, with flat seeds growing at 
the extremities of the branches. The seeds are the parts 
eaten. We also found the ghilmsilan, a root resem- 
bling a parsnep, of a pale-brown colour ; it is not edible ; 
and suf an, a dry, brown fungus, adhering to a tree. 

2 P. M. Started again, the river becoming serpentine — 


course, all round the compass. A great many Arabs on 
the shore, who ran after us, shouting loudly. They were 
the subjects of the Emir. Some Arab women on a high 
hill to the left. The river thirty-five yards wide, six feet 
deep, gravelly bottom; current, five knots. 2.18, four 
Arabs in sight ; current strong but unobstructed. 2.39, 
remarkably smooth but rapid descent. 2.41, river very 
serpentine, five feet deep ; a beautiful strip of variegated 
sands and* marls ; passed a wady, or dry ravine, on the 
right. 2.46, course S. W. to W. by N., thick canes and 
thistles ; water appeared to have fallen two feet within 
the last day or two; steady descent. 2.58, the land 
ahead worn into small mounds ; we saw a beautiful land- 
bird — brown body, white wings tipped with black, and a 
white ring round the neck, and at root of tail. Large 
rolled stones on the banks, alternating with clay and 

For the last hour, we had seen no rocks. At 3.15, a 
small rapid, the river running from left to right, across 
the valley. On the right, a round point with an Arab 
encampment upon it, the population in an uproar ; men, 
women, and children shouting, and running down to the 
landing-place ; passed a small island just below. 

At 3.15, along reach in the river; the first straight 
line we have seen in its entire course, thus far. Passed 
the territory of the tribe Es Siikr el Ghurrah, 500 fighting 
men. There were large ghurraf trees on each side. They 
are like the aspen, and are said to bear a juicy, sweets 
flavoured fruit. There were many birds on shore, and 
several fish-hawk (hedda) flying about. At 6.10, a 
cluster of small islands ; and at 6.30, a number of short 
turns in the river. Saw 'Akil, our tutelary genius, on 
the summit of a high bank. Brought-to for the night, 
and secured the boats. The banks were high and pre- 
cipitous, but guarded in some measure from the erosive 


action of the swift current by the gnarled roots of the 
trees and the thicket growth along the bluff. Just above 
and below this spot, which was selected for our camping- 
ground, the river describes a series of frantic curvilinears, 
and returns in a contrary direction to its main course, 
thus forming a peninsula; and the isthmus being now 
rapidly wearing away on both sides, bids fair speedily to 
become an island. The boats were secured to the right 
bank, thirty feet below the summit. We have descended 
to-day three large and seven small rapids ; general course, 
S. by E. We passed one small stream coming in from 
south-east, and four small islands. The river averaged 
forty-five yards width, four feet deep, and five knots 

We were yet in Galilee, in the land of Issachar ; oppo- 
site was Gilead, the land of Gad. The caravan started 
with us this morning, 'Akll and his scouts acting as 
guides. As far as the eye could reach, the plain extended 
before them ; the course of the river distinctly distinguish- 
able in some of its mazes and graceful sinuosities, and 
again hidden by some bold bluff or conical hill, at the 
ba*se of which it turned abruptly, and left them in doubt 
whether it flowed north, east, south, or west. 

They first passed some cultivated patches of wheat and 
barley, even at this early season looking ripe, and nearly 
ready for the harvest. Who would reap them ? Not a 
human being was in the scope of vision; nor tent, nor 
hut, nor sight of human dwelling. There was no sound, 
save the rush of the river and the noise of the wind, as it 
swept over the nodding grain — a yellow sea ! where light 
seemed chasing shadows as the breeze passed over. And 
yet, the hands that planted would come to reap them in 
the season, — if not anticipated by the spoiler. The wheat 
and the barley would fall before the sickle, and the hands 
of the gleaner be busy in the steps of the reaper; the 


tents would be spread by the river-side, and the young 
and the old, the strong and the feeble, the youth and the 
young girl, would be abroad in those silent fields. And 
when the sheaves are bound with the withes, and the 
unmuzzled ox has trodden out the golden grain, or the 
threshing sledge has been trailed round the slippery croft, 
and the light wind has winnowed the uptossed wheat, — 
then, all their wealth close reaped and gleaned, once 
more, upon their waste, unsheltered fields, will settle 
silence and the desert heat. 

The first hour of their journey, which was through a 
most beautiful tract of alluvial, the country was entirely 
destitute of cultivation ; nothing but a rank luxuriance 
of thistles and wild grass indicating the natural produc- 
tiveness of the soil. The variety of thorns and thistles 
was remarkable. 

Along the banks of the river ran a singular terrace of 
low hills, in shape like truncated cones, which extended 
quite to the base of the mountains. 

From thistles and wild grass, they advanced into utter 
barrenness and desolation ; the soil presenting the appear- 
ance of chalk, without the slightest vegetation. Around, 
and quite near, were large flocks of storks, walking with 
exceeding vanity, and in no manner alarmed or discon- 
certed ; some even stood on one leg, in quiet contempla- 
tion of the unusual spectacle which the caravan presented. 

At one time, they stopped to rest ; and, seated in the 
wilderness, the fierce sun beat upon their heads, and 
glittered on the barrels of their guns, until they became 
painful to sight and touch. Not a tree, nor a shelter 
from the heat, in that vast plain ! but up from the parched 
and blasted earth went streaming, like visible air, the 
waving, heated atmosphere ; and the whole extent of land, 
to the deep-rooted hills in the purple distance, was quiver- 
ing with the heat. 


Starting afresh, a short ride brought them once more 
near the banks of the river, down to which they turned 
their horses. It was almost impossible to restrain the 
thirsty brutes. At the sight and sound of the flowing 
river, they dashed down the slope, plunged through the 
thicket, and, standing mid-leg in the stream, thrust in 
their heads to the very eyes, and drank till their whole 
frame shook with the action. 

The day was considerably advanced when they came 
in sight of an encampment of black tents. Diverging 
from their line of march, they ascended the steep bank to 
an elevated plain, upon which the encampment stood. 
Several of the tribe came to meet them, bearing the tufted 
spear, which indicates the sheikh himself or some of his 
sons. Dismounting, they entered the tent pointed out to 
them, where mats were spread, and coffee and pipes in 
readiness, indicating an expectation of their arrival. 

" Pottle-bellied children," with hair unkempt and 
streaming in a scalp-lock (the rest of the head close- 
shaven), naked as cherubim in a church picture, were 
rolling on the grass and performing other gambols pecu- 
liar to that tender age. Soon after, the old men and the 
Badawiyeh (female Bedawin), their palms and finger- 
nails tinged with henna, and their cheeks and lips tat- 
tooed purple by the kholl powder, came forth to look upon 
and wonder at the Franks. Some of the young girls would 
have been pretty, were it not for the disfiguring tattoo, 
which gave the lips an appearance almost revolting, from 
its resemblance to the livid hue of death. Some of the 
young men of the tribe were cast in as soft and delicate a 
mould as manhood is susceptible of, without leaning to 
effeminacy. The brother of the Emir was a perfect An- 
tinous, with Hyperian locks and Apollonian limbs, who, 
however, thought more of his personal beauty than be- 
came a brave, and the brother of a warlike sheikh. 


The encampment consisted of some thirty or forty of 
those peculiarly constructed tents, made of coarse cloth 
of goats' hair. They were supported by a row of poles in 
the centre (for they are not shaped like the ordinary 
tent), the sides slightly inclined and hauled out by ropes 
which are pinned to the ground. In shape they resemble 
somewhat an oblong shed, and are, generally speaking, 
miserable substitutes for a shelter or dwelling. 

The little cup (for they had but one, apparently) having 
been artistically cleansed by the thumb of the attendant 
Ganymede, and presented to each in turn (the Franks, as 
guests, having the precedence), the coffee it contained 
being a concentrated essence of that luxury, pipes were 
offered, and then having, as usual, submitted to be stared 
at, and their arms handled about and inspected as if they 
were at muster, water was brought and poured upon their 
hands from a very equivocal water-jar, after which fol- 
lowed the repast. A large wooden bowl of pilau (boiled 
rice, liberally larded with rancid butter) constituted this 
pastoral banquet ; the enjoyment of which could not be 
attained through the medium of fork or spoon, but de- 
manded a kind of scientific conversion of the hands and 
fingers into these civilized conveniences. 

An hour's ride thence brought them to the end of the 
plain, or tabular summit of the low range of sand-hills 
upon which the encampment they had visited was situ- 
ated. Here descending the precipitous hill to the plain 
or terrace below, they came once more upon the banks of 
the Jordan. Numerous black tents occupied the green 
and richly cultivated plain, or were scattered here and 
there, close to the river bluff, half hidden by the pale 
green willow and the deeper shadow of the tamarisk. 
Here they pitched the tents and waited for the boats — 
the whole population crowding round them in speechless 
admiration of all that transpired. 


Camp E. by N. from Beisan, which was two hours 

With the interpreter, Mr. Ameuny, and the Arab es- 
cort, Mr. Dale had started at an early hour to call upon 
Muhammed Pasha. The banks of the Jordan, he reports, 
are divided into two regular steps or terraces, one on each 
side, before reaching the mountains : 1st, a flat through 
which the river winds, and 2d, an elevated plain. After 
passing a deep ravine, he came upon the Emir's wheat 
fields, which covered the sloping plain to Beisan ; the soil 
a rich marl. 

Following the wady (ravine) towards Beisan, he came 
to quite a large stream, issuing directly from the base of 
a hill, with a solitary palm-tree near it ; the first tree of 
any kind he saw on the elevated plain. The flat, how- 
ever, was covered with trees. This spring forms an 
oasis, and is called Ain es Sauda, the black spring. 

Instead of passing through the ruins of Beisan, he 
went north, about a mile distant from them. He then 
came in sight of a magnificent valley, filled with the 
Pasha's tents, and a thousand horses, all picketed out to 

Muhammed Pasha, a fat Osmanlie, received him frankly 
and kindly. He said he was about to move his command 
(one thousand Turkish cavalry), for the purpose of chas- 
tising a band of bad Arabs to the southward, but had 
delayed his march on our account, for fear of exas- 
perating them to some attack upon us. He gave him 
coffee, pipes, and oranges, and insisted upon sending ten 
horsemen to accompany the expedition through the dan- 
gerous territory. 

It was a magnificent sight, the camp and war-horses 
spread over this beautiful plain of Jezrael, a branch of 

After a long talk about European affairs, in which the 


interpreter endeavoured, quite in vain, to explain to him 
the beauties of republicanism, Mr. Dale took his depart- 
ure, and rode through the ancient city of Scythopolis, or 
Beisan. There were acres of building-stone, old walls, 
a theatre, &c, in good preservation. A few columns still 
stood in the valleys. Most of the present buildings ap- 
peared to be Saracenic, mills and khans. On the summit 
was a large fortress-looking building, the court now con- 
verted into a cow-yard by the Arabs, who have formed a 
village round it. He then descended to the plains, pass- 
ing through two or three collections of black tents, the 
possessions of the Emir Nassir. 

I regretted that the Pasha had sent the horsemen, for 
their presence would tend more, perhaps, to endanger 
than to aid us ; but, as it was meant in kindness, it 
would have seemed rude to send them immediately back, 
particularly as the march of the Turkish detachment 
had been delayed on our account. But the presence of 
the horsemen increased my anxiety : the sight of them 
might exasperate the Arabs, and I had no faith in their 
courage or fidelity. 

The Emir insisted upon our dining with him this 
evening, and would take no denial. It was decided that 
a part should go, and a part remain to guard the camp. 
At 5, the former set out to partake of the wild Arab's 
hospitality in his black tent. These tents, as I have 
said, are nothing but strips of black cloth, made of goats' 
hair, put up hut-fashion, and opening in front. This 
cloth is coarse and porous, but is said to swell when wet, 
and thus become impervious to the rain. 

When we arrived at their encampment, an Arab 
woman screamed out and wept bitterly at the sight of 
'Akil. In him she recognised the murderer of her hus- 
band, in a foray the previous year. If 'Akil felt remorse, 
as he certainly must have done, he possessed too much 


of the stoicism of the savage to let it become ap- 

Great was the Emir's delight at our visit, and more 
particularly at the honour of receiving a lineal descendant 
of the Prophet in his tent. He exhibited his flocks of 
sheep, his cows (the first we had seen on the Jordan) , his 
goats, his camels, and little dirty objects which he called 
his children. There was the children's pet, a beautiful 
young camel, three months old, white as drifted snow, 
with hair soft and fleece-like as wool. 

At sunset, a young man wearing a white turban, pro- 
bably a mullah (or teacher), spread his sheep-skin jacket 
upon the ground, and stood up and called the faithful to 
prayer. The Sherif and four others formed a line behind 
the mullah, who led the recitations. While going through 
their prostrations, like a file of soldiers, the others were 
talking as usual. 

To add to the scene, the file of horsemen sent by the 
Pasha, on their way to our camp, arrived in time to par- 
take of our dinner, just then brought in. It consisted of 
an enormous wooden bowl, filled with a stew of mutton 
and rice for the Arabs, and a smaller one for ourselves. 
The sheep had been killed and dressed immediately in 
front of the tent. All ate with their hands, — the Arabs 
gathering up small balls of unctuous rice, and fairly 
cramming it into their mouths. The ogre prince was the 
most voracious of all, and, instead of Guzzawy, should be 
called Guzzle-away. Hungry as we were, it was impos- 
sible to eat«; for, although a separate bowl was placed 
before us, we had seen the poor sheep killed, and had 
misgivings of the cleanliness of the cook. The most we 
could do, was to affect to eat. 

It was a wild sight after dark, to see groups of these 
ragged Ghuarineh seated, in front of the encampment, 
around a blazing fire. 



It was a soft, clear night, and the dew fell heavily in 
the mid-watch ; and the bulbul sang a low, plaintive song 
in the myrtle thicket, and the sentinels walked to and fro 
upon the bank, which was wearing away beneath them. 

" Hark ! their heedless feet from under, 
Drop the crumbling banks for ever*, 
Like echoes to a distant thunder, 
They fall into the gushing river." 

" Some gentle thing has heard their tread," for there was 
the sound of wings, and a quick, shrill cry, growing fainter 
and fainter in the distance. This sweet hour of romance 
was broken in upon by the most appalling sounds : — 
" To arms ! to arms !" What is it ? Dr. Anderson's horse 
has made a foray upon his unsuspicious enemies. 



Friday, April 14. A beautiful morning; but several of 
us quite sick. Took leave of the caravan for the day, 
and, with Sherif and the Emir, descended to the boats by 
the aid of the gnarled and tangled roots which protruded 
from the face of the bank; and, with a "push off," "let 
fall," and "give way," we shot into the current, and 
swept away before the eyes of the wondering Ghaurtneh. 
Their astonishment at beholding our boats, and our 
strange appearance, had in it something extremely ludi- 
crous. On rising at an early hour this morning (for we 
were generally up and stirring long before the lagging 
sun), we found the whole bank lined with these wonder- 
ing barbarians, who were lying at full length upon the 
bluff, with their heads projecting over the bank, and 
looking upon the floating wonders beneath ; turning, from 
time to time, to regard the race to whom belonged such 
rare inventions, such famous mechanism, as boats and 
six-barrel revolvers. 

The boats had little need of the oars to propel them, for 
the current carried us along at the rate of from four to six 
knots an hour, the river, from its eccentric course, scarcely 
permitting a correct sketch of its topography to be taken. 
It curved and twisted north, south, east, and west, turn- 
ing, in the short space of half an hour, to every quarter 
of the compass, — seeming as if desirous to prolong its 
luxuriant meanderings in the calm and silent valley, and 

(211) . 


reluctant to pour its sweet and sacred waters into the 
accursed bosom of the bitter sea. 

For hours in their swift descent the boats floated down 
in silence, the silence of the wilderness. Here and there 
were spots of solemn beauty. The numerous birds sang 
with a music strange and manifold ; the willow branches 
were spread upon the stream like tresses, and creeping 
mosses and clambering weeds, with a multitude of white 
and silvery little flowers, looked out from among them ; 
and the cliff swallow wheeled over the falls, or went at 
his own wild will darting through the arched vistas, 
shadowed and shaped by the meeting foliage on the 
banks ; and, above all, yet attuned to all, was the music 
of the river, gushing with a sound like that of shawms 
and cymbals. 

There was little variety in the scenery of the river to- 
day. The stream sometimes washed the bases of the 
sandy hills, and at other times meandered between low 
banks, generally fringed with trees and fragrant with 
blossoms. Some points presented views exceedingly pic- 
turesque — the mad rushing of a mountain torrent, the 
song and sight of birds, the overhanging foliage and 
glimpses of the mountains far over the plain, and here 
and there a gurgling rivulet pouring its tribute of crystal 
water into the now muddy Jordan. The western shore 
was peculiar, from the high calcareous limestone hills, 
which form a barrier to the stream when swollen by the 
efflux of the sea of Galilee during the winter and early 
spring; while the left or eastern bank was low, and 
fringed with tamarisk and willow, and occasionally a 
thicket of lofty cane, and tangled masses of shrubs and 
creeping plants, giving it the character of a jungle. At 
one place, we saw the fresh track of a tiger on the low 
clayey margin, where he had come to drink. At another 
time, as we passed his lair, a wild boar started with a 


savage grunt and dashed into the thicket ; but, for some 
moments, we traced his pathway by the shaking cane 
and the crashing sound of broken branches. 

The birds were numerous, and at times, when we 
issued from the shadow and silence of a narrow and ver- 
dure-tented part of the stream into an open bend, where 
the rapids rattled and the light burst in, and the birds 
sang their wildwood song, it was, to use a simile of Mr. 
Bedlow, like a sudden transition from the cold, dull- 
lighted hall where gentlemen hang their hats, into the 
white and golden saloon, where the music rings and the 
dance goes on. 

The hawk, upon the topmost branch of a blighted tree, 
moved not at our approach, but 

" Stood with the down on his beak, 
And stared with his foot on the prey ;" 

and the veritable nightingale ceased not her song, for she 
made day night in her covert among the leaves ; and the 
bulbul, whose sacred haunts we disturbed when the cur- 
rent swept us among the overhanging boughs, but chir- 
rupped her surprise, calmly winged her flight to another 
sprig, and continued her interrupted melodies. 

Unable to obtain one alive, we startled the solitude of 
the wilderness with a gun-shot, and secured the body of a 
brown-breasted, scarlet-headed and crimson-winged bird, 
the eastern bulbul. The Arabs call a pretty bird a bul- 
bul, but Sherif, who was with me in the boat, insisted 
upon it that it was the specific name of the bird we had 
killed. We were less successful with others of the 
feathered race, for although the sharp crack of the rifle 
and the louder report of the carbine awoke the echoes of 
the Jordan wilds, no other trophy than this unhappy 
bulbul could be produced when we met at night. The 
gentle creatures seemed each to bear a charmed life, for 


when we fired at them, they would spread their wings 
unhurt, and dart into the thick and tangled brushwood, 
and burst forth again in song from a more hidden covert; 
or sometimes just rise into the air and wheel above the 
broken sprig, or torn leaf, to settle once more as calmly 
as if the noise which had startled them were but the 
familiar sound of the breaking of a dried branch, or the 
plunge of a fragment of the soil from the water-worn 
banks into the current below. 

Our course down the stream was with varied rapidity. 
At times we were going at the rate of from three to four 
knots the hour, and again we would be swept and hurried 
away, dashing and whirling onward with the furious 
speed of a torrent. At such moments there was excite- 
ment, for we knew not but that the next turn of the 
stream would plunge us down some fearful cataract, or 
dash us on the sharp rocks which might lurk unseen be- 
neath the surface. 

For the reasons I have before stated, the Fanny Mason 
always took the lead, and warned the Fanny Skinner 
when danger was to be shunned or encountered. When 
the sound of a rapid was distinct and near, the compass 
and the note-book were abandoned, and, motioning to the 
Fanny Skinner to check her speed, our oars began to 
move like the antennae of some giant insect, to sweep us 
into the swiftest, which is ever the deepest, part of the 
current; when it caught us, the boat's crew and our 
Arab friend Jumah (Friday) leaped into the angry 
stream, accoutred as they were, and, clinging to her sides, 
assisted in guiding the graceful Fanny down the perilous 
descent. In this manner she was whirled on, driving be- 
tween rocks and shallows with a force that made her 
bend and quiver like a rush in a running stream ; — then, 
shooting her through the foam and the turmoil of the 
basin below, where, in the seething and effervescing 


water, she spun and twirled, the men leaped in, and, with 
oars and rudder, she was brought to an eddying cove, 
from whence, by word and gesture, she directed her sister 
Fanny through the channel. 

Beyond these interruptions, the river flowed broad 
and deep, yet maintaining much of the features of a 

Many islands, some fairy-like, and covered with a 
luxuriant vegetation, others mere sand-bars and sedi- 
mentary deposits, intercepted the course of the river, but 
were beautiful features in the general monotony of the 
shores. The regular and almost unvaried scene of high 
banks of alluvial deposit and sand-hills on the one hand, 
and the low swamp-like shore, covered to the water's 
edge with the tamarisk, the willow, and the thick, high 
cane, would have been fatiguing without the frequent 
occurrence of sand-banks and verdant islands. High up 
in the sand-bluffs, the cliff-swallow (asfur) chattered from 
his nest in the hollow, or darted about in the bright sun- 
shine, in pursuit of the gnat and the water-fly. 

A little before twelve o'clock we stopped to take a 
meridian observation. This requiring but a short time, 
we were soon on our way again, to encounter more trials 
in this difficult navigation. As the evening shadows 
lengthened more and more upon the stream, we repeat- 
edly stopped to look out for the caravan. The Sherif was 
evidently very uneasy. On each occasion the faithful 
Jumah was our scout, but he never landed without 
putting on a belt with a brace of pistols. He returned, 
at last, with the intelligence that he had seen the caravan 
pursuing its march in the distance, and we continued on 
our way. 

The loud report of a carbine presently echoed among 
the cliffs, and a flock of storks rose from the margin of 
the river, and flew past us. The Sherif had wounded one 


poor fellow, and his leg hung shattered and dangling, as 
he strove to keep up with his frightened companions. 
His efforts were unavailing ; the movement of his wings 
was but a spasm of his agony, and he fell in the water 
before us. The stream carrying him down, threw him 
on a low marshy bank, where the poor creature was 
making desperate efforts to drag himself from the water, 
as we dashed by on the rapid out of sight. I could not 
refrain from telling Sherif that it was a pity to shoot a 
bird unfit to eat, and not required as a specimen, and 
which, by the Muhammedan law, was regarded as a 
sacred one. 

For an hour or more we swept silently down the river, 
and the last tints of sunset were resting on the summits 
of the eastern mountains ; wet and weary, without a 
change of clothes, and with neither tents nor provisions, 
we began to anticipate a night upon the river, separated 
from our friends, when, at a turn, we beheld a horseman 
on the crest of a high hill, his long aba and his koofeeyeh 
streaming in the wind. To our great delight we recog- 
nised him to be our gallant 'Akil. He descended rapidly 
the almost perpendicular hill-side ! None but an Arab 
steed and rider could have done it ! 

The brief remainder of our day's journey was rendered 
more perilous even than the commencement, from the 
frequency of rapids and the difficulty of navigation in the 
fast-fading light. The swift current, as we sometimes 
turned a point of land, would seize us and send us off at 
a salient angle from our course, as if it had been lurking 
behind that point like an evil thing, to start out and 
clutch us suddenly and dash us upon the opposite bank, 
or run us under the low hanging boughs, as if for the 
purpose of rubbing us all out, or injuring us against the 
gnarled and projecting roots, where skulked the long 
clammy earth-worm and the green lizard. 





The scenery became also more wild as we advanced ; 
and as night, like a gloomy Rembrandt, came throwing 
her dark shadows through the mountain gorges, sobering 
down the bright tints upon their summits, the whole 
scene assumed a strange and savage aspect, as if to har- 
monise with the dreary sea it held within its midst, 
madly towards which the river now hurried on. 

But, altogether, the descent to-day was much less diffi- 
cult than those which had preceded it. The course of the 
river formed a never-ending series of serpentine curves, 
sometimes dashing along in rapids by the base of a moun- 
tain, sometimes flowing between low banks, generally 
lined with trees and fragrant with blossoms. Some 
places presented views extremely picturesque, the rapid 
rushing of a torrent, the song and sight of birds, the over- 
hanging trees, and glimpses of the mountains far over the 
plain. Here and there a gurgling rivulet poured its tri- 
bute of pure water into the now discoloured Jordan. The 
river was falling rapidly ; the banks showed a daily fall 
of about two feet, and frequently we saw sedge and drift 
wood lodged high up on the branches of overhanging 
trees — above the surface of the banks — which conclu- 
sively proves that the Jordan in its " swellings" still over- 
flows the lower plain, and drives the lion from his lair, as 
it did in the ancient time. 

In some places the substratum of clay along the banks 
presented the semi-indurated appearance of stone. For 
the first time we saw to-day sand, gravel, and pebbles, 
along the shores, and the cane had become more luxuri- 
ant, all indicating the approach to the lower Ghor. The 
elevated plain or terrace, on each side, could be seen at 
intervals, and the high mountains of Ajleen were visible 
in the distance. 

At 6.40 P. M., hauled up just above an ugly rapid, 
which runs by Wady Yabes (dry ravine). 


It looking too hazardous to " shoot" without lightening 
the boats of the arms, instruments, &c, and there being 
no near place of rendezvous below, we pitched our tents 
immediately against the falls and opposite to the ravine. 

We have, to-day, passed through the territories of the 
Emir Nassir el Ghuzzawy, which are two hours in extent, 
but more than twice the distance along the tortuous 
course of the river. The tribe musters 300 fighting men. 
His territory, in size and fertility, surpasses some of 
the petty kingdoms of Europe. 

The Emir and some of his people have wiry hair and 
very dark complexions, but no other feature of the 
African. His brother and some of the tribe are bright, 
but less so than 'Akil and his followers. The darker 
colour of the skin may, perhaps, be attributed to the 
climate of the Ghor. 

The hills, forming the banks of the upper terrace, have, 
to-day, assumed a conical form, with scarped and angular 
faces, marked with dark bands, and furrowed by erosions. 
These hills, and the high banks of alluvial deposit, with 
abrupt and perpendicular faces, indicate that the whole 
valley has once been covered with water. The prevailing 
rock seen has been calcareous limestone and conglome- 
rate, — much of the last lying in fragments in the river, 
covered with a black deposit of oxide of iron and man- 
ganese. Towards the latter part of the day, rock was 
less abundant, alluvion began to prevail, and pebbles, 
gravel, and sand, were seen beneath the superincumbent 
layers of dark earth and clay. Just above where we 
had secured the boats, were large blocks of conglomerate 
in the stream. 

The prevailing trees on the banks have been the wil- 
low, the ghurrah, and the tamarisk ; the last now begin- 
ning to blossom. There were many flowers, of which 


the oleander was the most abundant, contrasting finely 
with the white fringe blossom of the asphodel. Where 
the banks were low, the cane was ever at the water's 
edge. The lower plain was covered with a luxuriant 
growth of wild oats and patches of wild mustard in full 

In our course, to-day, we have passed twelve islands, 
all, but three, of diminutive size, and noted fourteen tri- 
butary streams, ten on the right and four on the left 
bank. With the exception of four, they were but 
trickling rivulets. 

We saw many fish, and a number of hawks, herons, 
pigeons, ducks, storks, bulbuls, swallows, and many other 
birds we could not identify — some of them of beautiful 
plumage. At one time, there were a number of moths 
flitting over the surface of the stream, and we caught 
one of them. Its body was about the size of a goose- 
quill, was an inch in length, and of a cream colour, 
widest at the head, and its wings, like silver tissue, 
were as long as the body. After frightening the wee 
thing by our close inspection, we let it go. Just before 
coming in sight of camp, we observed several tracks of 
wild boars. 

The surface of the hill behind us was thickly covered 
with boulders of quartz and conglomerate. Dr. Anderson 
found the remains of walls at the summit ; and one large 
stone, dressed to a face, and marked ^. He distinguished 
two separate formations, one an early and the other a late 
conglomerate. The bank opposite was high and rocky, 
and consisted of the same puddingstone, with layers of 
indurated marl. 

In our route of upwards of twenty miles to-day, we 
saw the scouts but twice ; and, in consequence of the na- 
ture of the country, the caravan was compelled to diverge 


so far from the river, that the guns we fired from time to 
time at the wild-fowl were unheard. 

As we were now approaching the territories of the bad 
Arabs, and were not far from the place where the boat of 
poor Molyneaux was attacked, every precaution was 
taken. Our tent was pitched beside a brawling rapid, 
while all around were lances and tethered horses, be- 
traying the position of the Arabs for the night. On the 
crest of the hill behind us, the Sherif was looking out 
upon the vast plain to the southward, although I had just 
seen the old man asleep on the ground near our tent. 
He was the counsellor, and 'Akil the warrior. 

It was a strange sight : collected near us lay all the 
camels, for security against a sudden surprise ; while, in 
every direction, but ever in close proximity, were scat- 
tered, lances and smouldering fires, and bundles of gar- 
ments, beneath each of which was a slumbering Arab, 
with his long gun by his side. The preparations for 
defence reminded one of Indian warfare. 

At night, Sherif and 'Akil came to our tent to consult 
about to-morrow's journey. They stated their suspicions 
of the tribes through whose territories we were about to 
pass, and how necessary it would be for the land and the 
river parties to keep close together. They gave it as their 
opinion, that it would be impossible for the caravan to. 
proceed on the western shore to-morrow, and advised that 
early in the morning it should cross over to the eastern 
side. This course was adopted ; and it was agreed that 
'Akil and his scouts should keep along the western, while 
the caravan took the eastern side, — thus having the boats 
between, so that one or other of the land parties might be 
within hearing, and hasten to their rescue, if attacked. 
It was further agreed, that whenever, by the intervention 
of the mountains, the land parties were long out of sight 


of the boats, scouts should be sent to the summits to look 
out for them, and that two gun-shots, in quick succession, 
should be the signal, if attacked. They both said that 
'there was not the slightest danger to the land parties, but 
expressed great solicitude for the boats. Sherif thought 
it best for him to be with the caravan to-morrow, as his 
influence might be of service with the sheikhs of tribes, 
should they be inclined to hostilities. From the tortuous 
course of the river, it was supposed that the caravan on 
the eastern side would be ever in advance of, while the 
scouts on the western shore would keep pace with, the 

Stationing the sentries, we then retired, — some of us 
quite exhausted, from frequent vomiting throughout the 
day. I thought that our Bedawin magnified the danger, 
to enhance their own importance. But it was well to 
be prepared. 

The course of the river varied to-day from N. E. by N. 
and N. N. W. to S., — the true course, from the place of 
departure this morning to our present camp, S. S. W. The 
width of the river was as much as seventy yards, with 
two knots current, and narrowed again to thirty yards, 
with six knots current : — the depth ranging from two to 
ten feet. The trees and flowers the same as yesterday. 

We struck three times upon sunken rocks during the 
day, and the last time nearly lost the leading boat : with 
everything wet, we were at length extricated, in time to 
direct the channel-way to the Fanny Skinner. The water 
was slightly discoloured. When we left the camp, the 
thermometer stood at 76°; but in a few hours the weather 
was oppressive. 

About five miles nearly due west from the camp, were 
the supposed ruins of Succoth. To get to this place, 
Jacob must have made a retrograde movement after 


meeting Esau, and crossed the Jordan, or recrossed the 

Saturday, April 15. We were up and off at an early 
hour this morning, with less than the usual disturbance 
between the camel-drivers and their insufferable beasts. 
Of all the burden-bearing beasts, from the Siam elephant 
to the Himmaleh goat, this "ship of the desert," as he 
has been poetically termed, — this clumsy-jointed, splay- 
footed, wry-necked, vicious camel, with its look of injured 
innocence, and harsh, complaining voice, is incomparably 
the most disagreeable. 

Loud have been the praises of its submissive and self- 
sacrificing spirit, all gentleness and sagacity; its power 
of enduring hunger and thirst for an indefinite period, 
and its unwearied tramp day after day through the smit- 
ing sun and over the burning sands of the desert ; but 
this animal is anything but patient or uncomplaining. 
As to the enormous weight it can carry, we have heard 
it growl in expostulation at a load which the common 
" kadish" (Syrian pack-horse) would be mortified to have 
allotted to him as suited to his thews and sinews. 

The steady little donkey, with preposterous ears and 
no perceptible hair on his hide, that leads the trudging 
caravan, and eats his peck of barley (if he be a lucky 
donkey), and travels stoutly all day long, is a model 
for him in endurance; and the most unhappy mule 
that ever bore pack, or, blindfold, turns the crank of 
Persian water-wheel, is an example to him of patient 
meekness and long-suffering. While on the road, they do 
not loiter by the way, dropping their loads and commit- 
ting trespasses upon the fields of grain, and rarely need 
to be urged on by the unceasing cry of " yellah," " hem- 
she," and the application of the belabouring cudgel of the 
mukris. While the "djemmel" (camel), with his hypo- 


critical, meek look, his drunken eye, and sunken nether 
lip, begins to expostulate in a voice discordant with min- 
gled hatred and complaint, from the moment he is forced 
upon his callous knees, until he clumsily rises with his 
burden and goes stalking lazily on his road. 

The meek enduring look of the camel is a deception ; 
we have seen it refusing the load, or, shaking it off, rise 
with a roar, and dash furiously at its master, even while 
its lip was reeking with the fresh and juicy herb he had 
just gathered for it. 

It is a pity to contradict the pleasing accounts given 
of this friend of the wandering Bedawin, but our opinions 
have been formed after close observation of its manners 
and habits in the desert. Much of the ill-nature and 
obduracy of the camel is doubtless attributable to the 
almost entire neglect of its owner in providing food and 
cleansing its hide, so subject to cutaneous diseases. 

In the neighbourhood of towns, where it cannot graze, 
straw is given to it ; but in the desert it must crop the 
thistle or tTie parched herbage as it passes, straying from 
side to side in its march, like the yawing of a stately ship 
before the wind. At night, if it be necessary to keep the 
camels within the encampment for security, the mukris 
gather thistles, herbage, and dwarf bushes for them, but 
otherwise turn them loose to graze. There is no question 
that if the camel were well fed and gently treated, it 
would sustain the character ascribed to it by partial 

The soft, spongy, india-rubber-looking foot of the camel 
is eaten by the Arabs, and considered a great luxury. 
Perhaps it is the same dish to which " rare Ben Jonson" 
alludes, when he describes our ancestors of the sixteenth 
century as eating — 

" The tongues of carps, dormice, and camePs heels, 
Boiled in the spirit of sol." 


Leaving the place of encampment for the ford Wacabes, 
the caravan wound round the base of a low conical sand- 
hill, and traversed a small grove of oak and arbutus and 
a thick and matted undergrowth of brush and briers, with 
long, keen, penetrating thorns. Here, as had been ar- 
ranged, 'Akil and his Bedawin scouts separated from the 
caravan and proceeded down the western shore ; while 
the latter crossed over to the eastern side. 

A little barren island divided the stream at the ford, 
and the current swept by with such rapidity as to render 
it doubtful whether the passage could be effected. Mr. 
Bedlow, however, made the attempt, and succeeded in 
reaching the island with no greater inconvenience than 
dripping extremities and a moist saddle. The rest were 
soon in the stream, clumsy camels and all, breasting and 
struggling, with various success, against the foaming cur- 
rent. There was a singular mixture of the serious and 
the grotesque in this scene, and the sounds that triumphed 
above the " tapage" of the boisterous ford, were the yells 
of the camel-drivers and the cries of the Arabs, mingled 
with shouts of unrestrained laughter as some impatient 
horse reeled and plunged with his rider in the stream, 
and the water was scattered about in froth and spray like 
a geyser. 

The depth and impetuosity of the river caused us some 
apprehensions for the safety of our cook, Mustafa, who, 
being mounted on an ill-favoured, scrubby little beast, 
already laden to the ears with the implements and raw 
materials of his art, was in danger, donkey and all, of 
being snatched from us, like another Ganymede, by the 
Epicurean river-gods, or borne away by some deified 
Apicius, disguised as a donkey, for the little brute looked 
at times as if he were swimming away, not fording the 
stream. The tiny animal, as soon as it had achieved the 
passage, clambered, dripping, up the sloping bank, and 


convulsively shaking his eminently miscalculated ears, 
signalised his triumphant exploit by one prolonged, hys- 
terical bray, which startled the wilderness, and seemed 
to be a happy imitation of a locomotive whistle, and the 
sound of sawing boards, declining gradually to a sob. 

From the river, the banks sloped gradually to the ter- 
race above; presenting a broad and undulating surface of 
sparse wild oats and weeds, and a few fields of grass, 
intermingled with low bushes, and a slender brown fringe 
of such light and frail structure, as to bend low with the 
faintest breath of air. 

Among this scanty herbage, and yet hidden by it in 
the distance, the earth was covered with a luxuriant 
growth of crimson flowers (the anemone), so thickly 
matted together, that, to the eye, the ground at times 
seemed covered with a crimson snow. Here and there, 
among this sea of scarlet bloom, were patches of yellow 
daisy, looking like little golden islands in the incarnadined 
and floral ocean ; while the bases of the hills were fringed 
with a light purple blossom, which not inaptly represented 
the foam of this preternatural sea. 

When the wind, sweeping down the gorges of the hills, 
passed over the plain, a broad band of crimson marked 
its course ; for the wild grain, light and elastic, bent low, 
and revealed the flowers beneath it, — presenting the 
appearance of a phantom river of blood, suddenly issuing 
from the earth, and again lost to sight, to reappear else- 
where, at the magic breath of the breeze. 

This plain was bounded towards the south by a deep 
ravine, and on its eastern and western sides it rose, in 
slight and irregular undulations, to a higher terrace or 
plateau, which blended with the hills in the distance, 
and seemed like the slopes of mountains, instead of the 
elevated plain which we knew it to be. Except upon the 
banks of the river, there was not a tree to be seen; 



the sun poured down upon hill, and valley, and stream, a 
flood of heat and splendour, though as yet it was but 
early day. 

Shortly after passing the rapid, immediately below our 
place of encampment, the boats were whirled along with 
great velocity, and barely escaped a rock near the water's 
edge, and directly in the channel. The stream was 
fringed with trees of the same variety as have been here- 
tofore noticed, and we began to meet with many false 
channels, which rendered our navigation more tedious 
and difficult. 

In order that no feature of the river might be omitted, 
I noted every turn in the course, the depth, the velocity, 
and temperature of the river ; the islands and tributary 
streams; the nature of its banks; the adjacent scenery, 
when visible ; the trees, flowers, weeds, birds, and tracks 
of wild beasts. As all this would be tedious in perusal, 
however necessary for the construction of a chart and an 
accurate knowledge of the river, I have deemed it best to 
embody it in an Appendix to the official report. 

At 8.34, started from below the rapid. Air, 75° ; 
water, 71°. At 9.28 A. M., we passed Wady el Hamma 
(ravine of the bath), with a small stream coming down 
on the right or western side. It is a slender thread of 
water finding its way down a chasm, a world too wide for 
its little stream ; but, joined here and there in its mean- 
dering descent by tiny tributaries, it comes rattling down 
its pebbly bed, with the brawling joyousness of a moun- 
tain stream. At 9.34, came to a rather ugly rapid, by 
Wady el Malakh (ravine of salt), with a small stream of 
clear but brackish water running down from W. N. W. 
Beheld 'Akil and some of the scouts upon a hill beyond it. 
Stopped to examine the rapid for a passage. Saw tracks 
of a tiger upon the shore, and found some plants of the 
ghurrah, its leaves triangular-shaped, of a light green 


colour, their inner surfaces coated with a saline efflores- 
cence : the other parts of the stem purple, the new 
growth a light green : the taste of the stem and leaves 
salt and hitter. The fennel was also quite abundant, the 
stalks of which, Jiimah, our Arab friend, ate greedily. 
There were some large blocks of fossil rock on the right 
bank, and in the bed of the river, of which we collected 
specimens. The temperature of the brackish stream 
was 70°. 

At 11.30 A. M., we stopped to take a meridian observa- 
tion of the sun. Temperature of the air, 82° ; that of 
the river, at twelve inches below the surface, at which 
depth it is always taken, 74°. The heat was exceedingly 
oppressive for the thermometrical range ; for, the wind 
being excluded by the lofty hills and overhanging trees, 
it was ever a perfect calm; except when, at times, it 
came in squalls down the yawning ravines. 

The plain above the ravine was much broken, pre- 
senting abrupt mounds and sand-hillocks, covered with 
varieties of the thistle, some of which were peculiar from 
the sabre shape of their thorns, and the rough and hairy 
coating of the leaves ; the latter emitting a milky fluid 
when broken. The thorn-bushes were so large and so 
abundant as to look like apple-orchards. The sides of 
the ravine exposed conglomerate rocks. 

Before starting again, we gathered some flowers for 
preservation, and a plant with which we were unac- 
quainted. It bears clusters of seeds, eight or ten together, 
on the extremity of the stamen, resembling in appearance 
those of the melon ; the main stem is five feet high, with 
thirty-five stamen, each ten inches long. It grows like 
the castor bean, and is called, by the Arabs, kelakh. 

The hills preserved their conical shapes, with bald 
faces, and the water was becoming of a light mud, 
approaching a milk colour. 


Except during the heat of mid-day, when every living 
thing but ourselves had sought refuge in the thicket or in 
the crevices of the banks, there were birds flying about 
in all directions. 

At 12.42, we saw the mountains of Salt and Belka 
ahead, from a turn of the river. 

At 1.32 P. M., we stopped to take a sketch of the ex- 
traordinary appearance of the terraces of the Jordan. At 
2.23, Wady Ajlun in sight on the left. The land of Faria 
begins here. The tribe El Faria numbers 100 fighting 
men. Their territory was on both sides of the river, for 
one hour in extent. We have, to-day, passed through 
the territory of Es Sukr el Ghor, the tribe numbering 200 

The mountains towards the east assumed a gloomy 
aspect to-day, and stood out like rough and verdureless 
crags of limestone. Yet, when the eye could withstand 
the bright glare of the illuminated cliffs and jagged 
ridges, it detected many portions which seemed sus- 
ceptible of cultivation ; and when breaks in the calcined 
rocks caught the intense brilliancy, and reflected it into 
the deep gorges, patches of verdure relieved the arid mo- 
notony ; but the scene, from the blinding light, permitted 
no minute investigation. 

At 2.34, saw the caravan halted on the bank. Came 
to and pitched our tents at the ford of Scka, on the left 
or eastern bank, abreast of two small islands. The plain 
extended six or eight miles on the eastern, and about 
three-fourths of a mile on the western side. The place 
of encampment takes its name from a village of the 
Sukrs, two miles distant. 

'AMI was on friendly terms with this tribe, and some 
of them, who had just come in, stated that their village 
was last night attacked by about two hundred Bedawin, 


who killed several of their men, and carried off nearly all 
their horses, cattle, and sheep. 

About eighteen miles E. by N. are the ruins of Jerash, 
supposed to be the ancient Pella, to which, Eusebius 
states, the Christians were divinely admonished to fly, just 
before the siege of Jerusalem by Titus. With Gadara 
(Um Keis), it was one of the cities of the Decapolis. It 
has magnificent ruins, many of them churches, and we 
deeply regretted our inability to visit them. Its situation 
is said to be the most beautiful, and its ruins the most 
interesting, in all Syria. What a field the Hauran pre- 
sents for exploration ! 

This was a most solitary day's travel. We had not 
seen the caravan from the time of starting until now, and 
'Akil and his party were visible but once. With the last 
exception, we did not see a human being. The caravan 
was a little more fortunate. Shortly after crossing the 
wady El Malakh (salt ravine), they discovered a solitary 
plane tree (dilbeh), gnarled and twisted by the action of 
the winds, its only companions the crimson poppy and 
the golden daisy, which clustered round its protruding 
roots like parasites. Their attention was instantly drawn 
to this solitary tree, for beneath its scanty shade, they saw 
the glitter of a spear-head, and soon after, two Bedawin 
horsemen, who came forth, and, hastening in another direc- 
tion, were soon lost in the thick copse-wood which lined 
the ravine. For an instant, our Arabs drew the rein and 
consulted among themselves, when four or five started off 
at headlong speed in pursuit. Making a long detour to 
intercept the strange horsemen, they plunged into the 
ravine, and, like those they pursued, were soon lost to 
sight in the thick foliage that skirted its sides. 

This incident created more excitement than one so tri- 
fling would seem to justify; but we were wanderers in 
an unknown and inhospitable wilderness, among bar- 


barous tribes of warlike Arabs, where the only security 
against rapine and murder is strength of numbers and 
efficiency of weapons, and where the sight of a stranger 
to the party prompts each one instinctively to feel for his 
carbine, or grasp unconsciously the handle of his sword. 

The strange horsemen proved to be friendly Beni Siikrs 
on their way to Beisan. 

Crossing the ravine of Ajlun, with a considerable stream 
running down, they met some agricultural Arabs, one of 
whom kissed Sherif 's hand. From the southern side of 
the ravine, they saw an immense plain stretching towards 
the Dead Sea. Far off was also visible the village of 
Abu Abeidah, containing the tomb of one of the generals 
of Muhammed, others say of a great sultan of Yemen, on 
his way from Arabia Felix to Damascus. While crossing 
an extensive plain before halting, they saw many very 
large thistles in full bloom, the flowers various and beau- 
tiful ; and a prevailing yellow flower, called " murur" by 
the Arabs. Just before camping, they passed large fields 
of wheat and barley, fast ripening. 

Although the day was some hours past its meridian, 
the weather was exceedingly sultry, and the eye ached 
from the reverberated glare of light it had encountered 
since morning. 

There was something in this solitude — in these spots, 
forsaken and alone in their hopeless sterility and weird 
silence — that begat reflection, even in the most thought- 
less. In all this dreary waste there was no sound ; for 
every living thing had retired, exhausted, from the wither- 
ing heat and blinding glare. Silence, the fit companion of 
desolation, was profound. The song of a bird, the chirrup 
of a grasshopper, the drone of a fly, would have been out 
of harmony. The wind, without which even solitude is 
incomplete, sounded mournfully as it went sweeping over 
the barren plain, and sighed, even in the broad and garish 


day, like the blast of autumn among the marshy sedge, 
where the cold toad croaks, and the withered leaf is 
spotted like a leprosy. 

Here, the eye looked in vain for the soft and tender 
sky, so often beheld in utter listlessness in our own far- 
distant land, and yet, dull and ungrateful that we were, 
we remained untouched with the beauty of its transparent 
and penetrable blue — pure azote and oxygen — into the 
immeasurable depths of which the eye pierced and wan- 
dered, but to return to earth again, dazzled and unfixed, 
as though it had caught a glimpse of infinity, and, wearied 
and overpowered, sought the finite and the tangible, — 
the comprehensible reality of laminated hills, broad plains, 
deep valleys, and the mountains, broad of girth and firmly 
rooted. The heavens of more favoured climes, — climes 
as yet uncursed of God ; skies, tender, deep, and crystal- 
line, so profound in their unfathomableness, and, with 
their lightning and black thunder-cloud, so terrific in 
their wrath, — such skies are never seen here. 

Here, there is no shifting of the scenes of natural 
beauty ; no ever-varying change of glory upon glory ; 
no varied development of the laws of harmony and 
truth, which characterise her workings elsewhere ; no 
morning film of mist, or low, hanging cloud of unshed 
dew ; no clouds of feathery scirrhus, or white and wool- 
like pinnacles of cumuli ; or light or gorgeous tints, 
dazzling the eye with their splendours; no arrowy 
shafts of sunlight streaming through the rifts of drift- 
ing clouds ; no silvery spikes of morning shooting up in 
the east, or soft suffusion of evening in the west : but, 
from the gleam of dawn, that deepens at once into inten- 
sity of noon, one withering glare scorches the eye, from 
which, blood-shot and with contracted pupil, it gladly 
turns away. 

Here, night but conceals and smoulders the flame which 


seems to be consuming earth and heaven. Day after clay, 
there is no change. Nature, which elsewhere makes a 
shifting kaleidescope with clouds, and sunshine, and pure 
azure, has here the curse of sameness upon her, and 
wearies with her monotony. 

Beneath a sky hollowed above us like a brazen buckler, 
and refracting the shafts of smiting sunlight, we jour- 
neyed on, heeding neither light nor heat, hunger nor 
thirst, danger nor fatigue ; but each day looked cheerfully 
forward to the time when we should be gathered on the 
margin of the river, — the tents all spread, the boats fast- 
ened to the shore, the watch-fires blazing, and the sound 
of human voices breaking the tyrannous silence, and 
giving a home-like aspect to the wilderness. 

The character of the whole scene of this dreary waste 
was singularly wild and impressive. Looking out upon 
the desert, bright with reverberated light and heat, was 
like beholding a conflagration from a window at twilight. 
Each detail of the strange and solemn scene could be 
examined as through a lens. 

The mountains towards the west rose up like islands 
from the sea, with the billows heaving at their bases. 
The rough peaks caught the slanting sunlight, while 
sharp black shadows marked the sides turned from the 
rays. Deep-rooted in the plain, the bases of the moun- 
tains heaved the garment of the earth away, and rose 
abruptly in naked, pyramidal crags, each scar and fissure 
as palpably distinct as though within reach, — and yet 
we were hours away; the laminations of their strata 
resembling the leaves of some gigantic volume, wherein 
is written, by the hand of God, the history of the changes 
he has wrought. 

Towards the south, the ridges and higher masses of the 
range, as they swept away in the distance, were aerial 


and faint, and softened into dimness by a pale transpa- 
rent mist. 

The plain that sloped away from the bases of the hills 
was broken into ridges and multitudinous cone-like 
mounds, resembling tumultuous water at "the meeting 
of two adverse tides ;" and presented a wild and che- 
quered tract of land, with spots of vegetation flourishing 
upon the frontiers of irreclaimable sterility. 

A low, pale, yellow ridge of conical hills marked the 
termination of the higher terrace, beneath which swept 
gently this lower plain, with a similar undulating sur- 
face, half redeemed from barrenness by sparse verdure 
and thistle-covered hillocks. 

Still lower was the valley of the Jordan ! The sacred 
river ! Its banks fringed with perpetual verdure ; wind- 
ing in a thousand graceful mazes ; its pathway cheered 
with songs of birds and its own clear voice of gushing 
minstrelsy ; its course a bright line in this cheerless 
waste. Yet beautiful as it is, it is only rendered so by 
contrast with the harsh, dry, calcined earth around. The 
salt-sown desert ! 

There is no verdure here that can vie, in intensity or 
richness, with that which June bestows upon vegetation 
' in our own more favoured but less consecrated land ; 
where the margins of the most unnoticed woodland stream 
are decked with varieties of tree and shrub in almost 
boundless profusion. 

Here are no plumy elms, red-berried ash, or dark green 
hazel; no linden, beach or aspen; no laurel, pine, or 
birch ; and yet, unstirred by the wind, the willow and 
the tamarisk droop over the glittering waters, with their 
sad and plume-like tresses ; the lily bending low, moistens 
its cup in the crystal stream, and the oleander blooms 
and flowers on the banks. Amid the intricate foliage 
clusters the anemone and the asphodel, and the tangled 


copse is the haunt of the bulbul and the nightingale. 
There is a pleasure in these green and fertile banks, seen 
far along the sloping valley ; a tracery of life, amid the 
death and dust that hems it in ; — 

"A thing of beauty and a joy for ever," 

so like some trait of gentleness in a corrupt and wicked 

Soon after camping, Sherif brought to me a fruit or nut 
which was described by the land party as growing upon 
a small thorny tree. The fruit is somewhat like a small 
date, but of an olive-green colour, the bark of the tree 
smooth, the leaves thin, long, and oval, and of a brighter 
green than the bark or fruit. It is bitter and acrid to the 
taste, and is called by our Arabs the "zukkum," which is 
declared by the Koran to be the food of infidels in hell. 
Dr. Robinson, quoting Maundrell and Pococke, describes 
it as the "balsam tree," from the nut of which the oil of 
Jericho is extracted — called by the pilgrims Zaccheus' 
oil, from the belief that the tree which bears it was the 
one climbed by Zaccheus. Scripture, as Dr. Robinson 
states, renders it, with more probability, the sycamore or 
plane tree. The " zukkum"* is little more than a shrub 
in height, and its branches are covered with thorns. 

One of the land party brought in a leaf of the osher 
piant, which bears the Dead Sea fruit. It is oval, thick, 

* Zukkum, or zaccoun of the Arabs, has various English names, as 
Jericho plum, Jerusalem willow, oleaster, wild olive, &c. It is the elaeg- 
nus angustifolius of botanists. This tree much resembles the olive, and 
has been mistaken by many writers for the wild variety of that useful tree. 
The resemblance is close, not only in the leaves, but also in the fruit ; the 
last, however, is larger and more oblong. The oil extracted from the nut 
or kernel has been long celebrated in Syria as very efficacious in the treat- 
ment of wounds and bruises, and is said to be preferred to the balsam of 
Mecca for that purpose. It is also supposed by some to be the Myro- 
balanus of Pliny j and Belen says that near the Jordan he found " les 


and of a deep green colour, very much resembling that 
of the caoutchouc or India-rubber plant; the flower a 
delicate purple, growing in pyramidal clusters. The fruit 
was not yet formed. The centre of the stalk is pithy, 
like the alder, and discharges a viscous milky fluid when 
cut or broken. 

The land party also saw the nubk or sidr tree, bearing 
a fruit about the size of a cherry, but its colour more 
yellow than red. It looks very much like a withered 
crab-apple, has a large kernel or stone, and is slightly 
acid, but not juicy. The Arabs are fond of the fruit in 
its present state, and frequently pulverize the meat for 
flour. The nubk is the " spina Christi " of Hasselquist, 
from the pliant, thorny branches of which, it is supposed, 
was made the mock crown of the Redeemer. 

At sunset, bathed in the refreshing waters of the Jor- 
dan. Sherif says that the Muhammedans are divided 
into two sects, the Shiahs, believing in the Koran only, 
and the Sunnites, in both the Koran and tradition. In 
the strict sense of the term they are all Unitarians, and 
hold Christians as idolaters, for their belief in and wor- 
ship of the divinity of the Saviour and the Paraclete. 
They believe in the interposition of angels in human 

arbres qui portent les Myrobalans citrins du noyau desquels les habitans 
font d' Phuile." Dr. Boyle seems inclined to believe that this oil is the 
tzeie (translated balm in our version) mentioned in Genesis, as it is there 
noticed as a product of Gilead, and which could not have been what is 
now called balm or balsam of Gilead, as the tree producing it is a native 
of Arabia or Abyssinia and not of Palestine ; being only cultivated in one 
or two places in the latter country, and not until a period long after that 
of Jacob. From this and the evidence afforded in many other parts of the 
Bible, it appears certain that the balsam alluded to was a production of 
Gilead, and also that it was used as a medicine ; and there is a strong pro- 
bability that it was the oil from the zukkum. The oil is extracted first by 
pressing the crushed nuts, and a further portion is obtained by boiling 
them. — Griffith. 


affairs, and in the resurrection and final judgment. They 
are divided in opinion with regard to purgatory, or an in- 
termediate state after death, and hold Moses, the Saviour, 
and Muhammed, to have been prophets of God, the last 
the greatest. And yet in his absurd night journey to 
heaven, Muhammed makes Moses and the other prophets 
desire his prayers, but asks himself for those of the 
Saviour. They believe that another, in the semblance 
of the Redeemer, was crucified in his stead. When I 
asked Sherif if he did not think that a good Christian 
might get to heaven, he answered, 

u How can you hope it, when you insult the God you 
believe in, by supposing that He died the ignominious 
death of a criminal ?" 

This people, sensually imaginative, are incapable of a 
refined, spiritual idea ; and the arch-impostor, Muhammed, 
well understood the nature of his countrymen. 

Heretofore, we have been lulled to sleep by the hoarse 
sound of a rapid; all, except those who, having to encounter 
it, felt naturally solicitous for the result. The noise of a 
rapid is much louder by night ; and one a mile off, sounds 
as if it were madly rushing through the camp. We were 
now, however, comparatively quiet. 

As the attack upon the neighbouring village, last 
night, showed that bad Arabs were about, and there 
had been many strangers in the camp during the 
evening; after all but the sentries had retired to rest, I 
went round to see that each one had his ammunition-belt 
on and his weapons beside him; and repeated the injunc- 
tion to rally round the blunderbuss in the event of an 
alarm. But the night passed away quietly. 

Late in the first watch, an interesting conversation was 
overheard between 'Akil and the Nassir. 

Last year, while in rebellion against the government, 
'Akil, at the head of his Bedawin followers, had swept 


these plains, and carried off a great many horses, cattle, 
and sheep; among them the droves and herds of the 
Nassir. There had, in consequence, been little cordiality 
between them since they met at Tiberias ; but, to-night, 
Nassir asked 'Akil if he did not think that he had acted 
very badly in carrying off his property. The latter an- 
swered no ; that Nassir was then his enemy, and that he, 
'Akil, had acted according to the usages of war among 
the tribes. The Nassir then asked about the disposition 
made of various animals, and especially of a favourite 
mare. 'Akil said that he had killed so many of the 
sheep, given so many away, and sold the rest ; the same 
with the cattle and horses. As to the mare, he said he 
had taken a fancy to her, and that it was the one he now 
rode. This the Emir knew full well. 

After some further conversation, Nassir proposed that 
they should bury all wrongs and become brothers. To 
this 'Akil assented. The former, thereupon, plucked 
some grass and earth, and lifting up the corner of 'Akil's 
aba, placed them beneath it ; and then the two Arabs em- 
bracing, with clasped hands, swore eternal brotherhood. 

When questioned, immediately after, upon the subject, 
'Akil stated that so obligatory was the oath of fraternity, 
that should he hereafter carry off any thing from a hos- 
tile tribe, which had once, no matter how far back, been 
taken from the Emir, he would be bound to restore it. 

As an instance, he mentioned that when he was in the 
service of Ibrahim Pasha, there were nine other tribes 
besides his own ; and that in one of their expeditions 
they carried off a number of sheep, forty of which were 
assigned as his portion : that shortly after, an Arab came 
forward and claimed some of them on the ground of fra- 
ternization. 'Akil told him that he did not know and 
had never seen him before ; but the man asserted and 


proved that their fathers had exchanged vows, and the 
sheep claimed were consequently restored. 

These Bedawin are pretty much in the same state as 
the barons of England and the robber knights of Germany 
were, some centuries back. 

We have, to-day, descended ten moderate and six ugly 
rapids, and passed three tributaries to the Jordan, two 
quite small, and one of respectable size. Also four large 
and seventeen small islands. We have now reached a 
part of the river not visited by Franks, at least since the 
time of the crusades, except by three English sailors, 
who were robbed, and fled from it, a short distance below. 
The streams have all names given them by the Arabs, 
but the islands are nameless and unknown. 

The course of the river, to-day, has varied from north- 
west to south, and from thence to east; but the prevailing 
direction has been to the southward and westward. The 
velocity of the current has ranged from two to eight 
knots per hour; the average about three and a half 
knots. The depth has been in proportion to the width 
and velocity of the stream. At one place the river was 
eighty yards wide and only two feet deep. The average 
width has been fifty-six yards, and the average depth a 
little more than four feet. 

Where the river was narrow, the bottom was usually 
rock or hard sand, and in the wider parts soft mud. In 
the narrowest parts, also, the river flowed between high 
banks ; either bald-faced alluvial hills, or conglomerate, — 
in one place, fossil rock. Where the stream was wide 
the banks were low alluvion ; towards the latter part of 
the day, resting upon sand or gravel. Where the stream 
was wide and sluggish, running between alluvial banks, 
the water was discoloured; in some places of a milky 
hue. Where narrow, and flowing between and over 
rocks, it was comparatively clear. At starting, in the 


morning, the temperature of the air was 78°, and of the 
water, twelve inches below the surface, 71°. In the 
course of the day, the former rose eight and the latter 
three degrees. Excepting once, early in the afternoon, 
when a light air from the eastward swept through an 
opening, it was a perfect calm, and the heat felt oppres- 
sive ; yet less so, than the dazzling glare of light. We 
have twice, to-day, struck on rocks, but suffered no ma- 
terial damage. 

Our encampment was close to the river's edge, where 
the banks were thickly wooded and the soil sandy. In 
front, the stream was divided by a small island, below 
which was the ford of Scka. 

The scene of camping for the night is ever a busy one. 
The uprearing tents, the driving of the tent-pins, the 
wearied camels standing by, waiting to be disburdened, 
all remind one forcibly of the graphic descriptions of the 
Bible. There are other features, too, illustrative of our 
brotherhood with the children of the desert — Sherif, 
seated beneath a tree, or under the shadow of a rock, 
issuing commands to his immediate followers, and 'Akil 
reconnoitering from the summit of a hill, or scouring 
about the plain, stationing the outposts. 

With us, too, everything bore the aspect of a military 
expedition through a hostile territory. The boats, when 
practicable, were securely moored in front, and covered 
by the blunderbuss ; the baggage was piled between the 
tents, and the sentries paced to and fro in front and rear. 

Among the trees which bordered the river-bank, the 
horses of our Arab friends were this evening tethered, 
while our own luxuriously enjoyed a clandestine supper 
in the wheat-field near at hand. 

At this time, our benign and ever-smiling Mustafa, 
with his bilious turban and marvellous pants, wide and 
draperied, but not hiding his parenthetical legs, seemed 


almost ubiquitous. At one time, he was tearing some- 
thing madly from his laden donkey; and the next, he 
was filling pipes, and, hand on breast, presenting them 
with low salaams ; or, like a fiend, darting off after the 
Doctor's horse, which, having evaded the watchful Has- 
san, was charging upon the others, and frightening "the 
souls of his fearful adversaries" with the thunder of his 

The day had been one of intense heat, and the physical 
relaxation, caused by fatigue and exposure, made us ex- 
tremely sensitive to the chilly atmosphere of evening. 

The pale light of the rising moon, and the red flush of 
sunset, made the twilight linger, and gave to the east and 
the west the appearance of an auroral ice-light. The 
dew fell early and heavily, and the firm white sand of the 
river-bank was cold to the feet. 

As night advanced, the blaze of our watch-fires dis- 
pelled, to a great extent, the chill of the air around us. 
Our Arab scouts were posted on the hills which overlooked 
the camp, and our own guards, with glittering carbines 
and long, keen bayonets, were pacing in front and rear 
of the baggage and the tents. The scene was wild and 

Around the blazing fires, which shot long, flickering 
tongues of flame into the night, and seemed to devour 
darkness, were gathered in circles, groups of Franks and 
wild Bedawin, solemnly smoking the chibouque, drinking 
coffee, or listening eagerly, as, with wild gesticulations, 
one related an adventure of the day, or personal incident 
of times gone by. Who, in the desert or the wilderness, 
would not listen to the veriest idle legend that ever bel- 
dame croaked over the blaze of " Yule," on Christmas eve ? 

The camels were lying here and there about the camp, 
silent and motionless, utterly unconscious of their merit 
as objects in the picturesque. 


The tents were pitched upon a sandy bank, in a small 
opening, flanked by groves of willow and tamarisk, with 
an inner edging of acacia. The ford ran diagonally from 
bank to bank, across the most impetuous, but shallow 
part of the stream. The bright watch-fires threw bars 
of red and trembling light over the shadowed waters, and 
illuminated the sombre willow groves beyond, among 
which, as if entangled in their boughs, hung motionless, 
as clouds hang in the chasms of mountains, a long and 
silvery film of unfallen dew ; while the purple shadows 
of the distant hills mingled with the cold grey of the 
evening, rendering all beyond dim and mysterious ; and 
the peaked and jagged outlines of the lofty range, cut 
sharp and black against the sky, now faint and pale, yet 
relieved by the beautiful swell and regular waving curva- 
ture of the lower hills. 

Before the blue tent of Sherif were gathered our Arab 
friends, a large circle of swart faces, illuminated by the 
light of a crackling fire, listening to 'Akil's bard, who 
sang Arabic love-songs, to the accompaniment of his 
rebabeh, or viol of one string. 

As we drew near to enjoy this wild romantic concert, 
the Sherif and ' Akil, stepping forth from the circle, invited 
us among them, with an urbanity and kindness of manner, 
unsurpassed by the courtesy of highest civilization. Mats 
were spread for us at the opening of the tent, and the 
Tourgiman having interpreted their many expressions 
of welcome, the bard was requested to continue the music, 
which had been interrupted by our approach. 

Without affecting a slight cough, or making vain ex- 
cuses, he immediately complied. With his semicircular 
bow he began a prelude, " fashioning the way in which 
his voice should go," and then burst forth in song. The 
melody was as rude as the instrument which produced it, 
a music, not such as Keats describes — 
21 Q 


u Yearning like a God in pain j" 

but a low, long-drawn, mournful wail, like the cry of the 
jackal set to music. He sang of love, but had it been a 
dirge, the wail of the living over the dead, it could not 
have been more heart-rending and lugubrious. There 
was no passion, no mirthfulness, no expression of hope or 
fear; but a species of despairing, chromatic anguish; and 
we could not refrain from regarding the instrument as an 
enchanted sexton's spade, singing of the graves it had 
dug, and the bodies it had covered with mould. 

And yet, these children of the desert enjoyed the per- 
formance, and from under the dark brows, made darker 
by the low, slouching koofeeyeh, their eyes glistened, and 
the red light gleamed on glittering teeth displayed in 
smiles of approbation. 

These demonstrations of enjoyment appeared strange 
to us ; for the song, to our ears, told only of mattocks and 
shrouds and the grave-digger's song in Hamlet ; — 

" A pickaxe and a spade, a spade, 
For , and a winding-sheet." 

The bard was not a true Bedawin, but of Egyptian parent- 
age, and resembled more our ideas of a ghoul than a 
human being. Low of stature and lightly built, he was 
thin, even to attenuation ; and his complexion of a pale, 
waxy, cadaverous hue. His eyes were small, black, and 
piercing, shadowed by thick pent-house brows, which, 
like his straggling beard, was nearly red ; his lips livid, 
his teeth white and pointed, and the nails of his skinny 
hands as long as talons. His whole appearance assisted 
materially in sustaining the ideas of coffins and palls, mil- 
dew and worms, and other grave-yard garniture. 

The costume of the minstrel was not materially differ- 
ent from that of his Bedawin companions. His head, 
like theirs, was closely shaven above the temples, anc 1 


covered with a small red skull-cap or tarbouch, over 
which was thrown the koofeeyeh, a coarse cotton shawl 
or kerchief, triangularly folded, with broad stripes of white 
and yellow, the ends ornamented with a plaited fringe, 
hung on each side of the face down to the shoulders, and 
was confined over the tarbouch by two bands of the akal, 
a roughly twisted, black cord of camel's hair. An aba, 
or narrow cloak made of camel's hair, of extremely coarse 
texture, broadly striped white and brown, and fashioned 
like the Syrian burnoose, or horseman's cloak, hung neg- 
ligently about his person. 

Beneath the aba he wore a long, loose cotton shirt, of 
very equivocal white, confined at the waist by a narrow 
leathern belt ; a pair of faded red buskins, 

" A world too wide for his shrunk shanks," 

and fearfully acute at the toes, where they curved like a 
sleigh-runner, completed his costume. 

While the bard and his rebabeh discoursed most melan- 
choly music for our entertainment, the black and aro- 
matic kahweh* (coffee) was handed round by an attendant 
of 'Akll Aga, — a tall, wiry-framed Nubian, with keen 
white teeth, and a complexion as black as Orcus, — black 
even to the surface of the heavy lips, and with a skin 
drawn with extreme tension over the angular facial 
bones, giving it the dry and embalmed appearance of a 
Memphian mummy. 

Each of us having drunk his little cup of coffee and 
smoked a pipe, the stem of which had run the gauntlet 
of every pair of lips in that patriarchal group, we were 
about to retire, when the Emir Nassir, the wild old black- 
guard, seizing (he never took anything) the "sexton's 

* Kahweh is an old Arabic term for wine ; Turkish, kahveh ; Italian, 
caffe ; English, coffee. Can it be that the Muslims, in their affection, pre* 
served the name of the beverage interdicted by their prophet ? 


spade" (the rebabeh), to our unfeigned astonishment com- 
menced a song as if he too were a ghoul and could give 
us in character some church-yard stave in honour of his 
ghostly trade. 

Translated by the Tourgiman, and versified by Mr. 
Bedlow, his song ran thus : 

" At her window, from afar, 
I saw my love, my Bedawiyeh, 
Her eyes shone through her white kinaa, 
It made me feel quite faint to see her." 

While singing, the Ogre Prince looked with grotesque de- 
votedness and an inimitable languishing air upon Sherif 
Musaid, sitting near him, who for the nonce he had ideal- 
ized into his "love," his "Bedawiyeh." The song was 
evidently a foreign one, perhaps derived from Persia. An 
Arab poet would have placed his love at the opening of 
the tent, or beside the fountain. A Bedawiyeh, the fawn 
of the desert, and a window, the loop-hole of what they 
consider a prison, accord but ill together. 

The amateur musician surpassed the professional one, 
and the prince transcended the bard, as well in execution 
as in the quality of his voice. The music, although more 
varied in character and modulation, was essentially the 
same in its prevailing sadness. Truly " all the merry- 
hearted do sigh" in this strange land ; a land from which 
" gladness is taken away," and mirth, where it doth exist, 
hath a dash of grief and a tone of desperate sorrow. The 
sound of tabret and harp, of sackbut and psaltery, the 
lute, the viol, and the instrument of two strings, are 
heard no more in the land ; and the " rebabeh," with its 
sighing one string, befits the wilderness and the wander- 
ing people who dwell therein. 

Not even the Emir, although he threw all the mirth he 
could command into his voice, and touched the string 
with quick, elastic fingers, striking out notes and half- 



notes with musical precision; — although his dark eyes 
flashed and his white teeth glistened, as he smiled seduc- 
tively upon Musaid, and swayed his body to and fro, and 
nodded his head to the measure of his minstrelsy, and 
triumphed over the bard, and won applause with every 
verse, he could not change the tone, — there was the same 
sad minor running through the song. 

Those low, complaining tones lingered in our ears long 
after the sound had ceased, and the Arabs were gathered 
in sleep around the smouldering watch-fires. 

Towards morning, the wind swept down upon us from 
the mountain gorges, and caused some of us to dream of 
snow-drifts and icicles, and unseasonable baths in cold 



Sunday, April 16. A pleasant day — wind light from, 
north-east. We were on the move early this morning. 
Sherif was very uneasy about the boats ; and yet though', 
it advisable for him to be with the caravan. He was 
urgent that the Emir should accompany us on the river. 
The latter excused himself on the plea of headache. 

After a cup of coffee, taken standing, started off with 
the boats, leaving the caravan to cross over again, and 
proceed down the right bank. 

I found that our Arabs were utterly ignorant of the 
course of the river, or the nature of its current and its 
shores. Heretofore, we had been enabled to see the cara- 


van at least' once in a day's journey ; but yesterday, from 
the impossibility of penetrating along the left bank and 
the high precipitous character of the hills on the right, 
we saw nothing of them, and our meeting even at night, 
was, for a long time, very doubtful. 

The country presented the same appearance as yester- 
day, except that conglomerate or any kind of rock was 
rarely seen ; but in their stead, banks of semi-indurated 
clay. The lower plain was evidently narrower and the 
river often swept alternately against the hills, mostly 
conical in their shape, and with bold faces, which flank 
the lower and mark the elevation of the upper plain. 

These various ramifications of mountain ranges and in- 
tervening platforms and valleys afford, according to Hum- 
boldt, evidences of ancient volcanic eruptions undergone 
by the crust of the globe, these having been elevated by 
matter thrust up in the line of enormous cracks and 

The vegetation was nearly the same in character, save 
that it was more luxuriant and of brighter tint on the 
borders of the stream ; more parched and dull on either 
side beyond it. The oleander increased ; there was less 
of the asphodel, and the acacia was rarely seen, as here- 
tofore, a short distance inland. The tamarisk was more 
dense and lofty, and the canes were frequently thick and 
impenetrable. There were many drift-trees in the stream, 
and bushes and branches were lodged high up in the trees 
which lined the banks ; and much above the latter, con- 
clusive marks of a recent freshet. There were many 
trees on each side, charred and blackened by fire — caused, 
doubtless, by the Arabs having burned the dried-up grass 
to renew their pastures. The ghurrah was also becoming 
abundant; and we noticed that whenever the soil was 
dry, the leaves of this tree were most silvery. 

About an hour after starting, we came to the place 


where Molyneaux's boat was attacked while he was jour- 
neying down by land. Stopped to examine. It is just 
above a very rapid part of the river, where the boat could 
not have been stopped if the crew had kept her in the 
stream, unless most of them had been killed by gunshots 
from the shore. As they all escaped, I concluded that 
they were surprised when asleep, or loitering on their 
way. We here saw tracks of a tiger, and of other wild 
beasts which we could not identify. 

In many places the trees were drooping to the water's 
edge, and the channel sometimes swept us under the 
branches, thereby preventing us from carrying our awn- 
ings ; in consequence of which, we suffered more than 
heretofore from exposure to the sun. 

At 8.30, there were Arabs in sight on a high hill, and 
we heard others in the swamp ; apprehending a strata- 
gem, we laid on the oars and stood by our arms ; but we 
were not molested. 

At 9.30, saw again tracks of wild animals on shore. 
At 10.38, we struck upon a snag, the current very strong. 
At 11.20, saw some of our scouts on a hill. 11.40, 
stopped to take meridian observations. Temperature of 
the air, 92° ; of the water, 72°. 

At 12.05, started again. At 12.28, Arabs hailed from 
a high hill on the right, asking whether the horsemen 
who had passed were friends or enemies. We supposed 
that they referred to our scouts. At 1 P. M., again saw 
tracks of wild animals upon the shore ; also a great many 
wild pigeons, some of them very large. The banks, 
hereabouts, were of red clay, resting on white ; the last, 
semi-indurated, and appearing like stone. There were 
many fissures in the hills and much debris fallen into the 
stream. At a sudden turn, started up a flock of partridges. 

At 1.54, we saw a castor-bean plant growing upon the 
shore ; and, shortly after, passed under an overhanging 


tree, with a bush fifteen feet up in its branches, lodged 
there by a recent freshet ; for it was deciduous, and the 
green leaves of the early season were upon it. The river 
must this year have overflowed to the foundations of the 
second terrace. We saw some drooping lily-plants, long 
past their flowering. 

At 2.04, the river running between high triangular 
hills, we struck in descending a rapid ; clothes, note-book, 
and papers, thoroughly wet, but the boats uninjured. 

At 2.27, came in sight of the encampment, the tents, 
as heretofore, already pitched; — the camping-place, Mu- 
kutta Damieh (Ford of Damieh), where the road from 
Nabulus to Salt crosses the river. 

We made but a short day's journey, in consequence of 
there not being another place where the boats and 
caravan could meet between this and the bathing-place 
of the Christian pilgrims. 

Soon after our arrival, both Sherif and Akil, calling 
me aside, expressed their belief that the Emir feigned a 
headache in the morning from fear of going in the boats. 
The same idea had occurred to me before, but was dis- 
missed as an ungenerous one. They, however, cited cir- 
cumstantial but conclusive proof that their suspicion was 
not unfounded. 

In the early part of their march to-day, the caravan 
anticipated a skirmish. A strange Arab, supposed to be- 
long to a marauding party, was seen in the distance. 
The line was closed and the scouts came in, all but a 
few that were sent to reconnoitre a deep ravine in front. 
Although but one man was seen, it was suspected that 
many were concealed in the ravine ; for directly opposite 
was a large encampment of black tents. 

Our Bedawin felt or feigned a conviction that an en- 
gagement would take place, and all due preparations were 
immediately made. The camels were halted, and the 


horsemen, collecting in front, waited for the reconnoiter- 
ing scouts to return. In the mean time, our Arabs went 
through their feats of horsemanship, singing their war- 
song, and seemed to be endeavouring to work themselves 
into a state of phrensy. At their solicitation, Mr. Dale 
laid aside his hat and put on a tarbouch and koofeeyeh. 
Guns were unslung and freshly capped, and swords were 
loosened in their scabbards. 

At a signal from one of the returning scouts, the word 
was given to advance. With the rest, Mr. Bedlow spurred 
his horse to urge him forward ; but, less valorous or more 
discreet than his rider, the more he was spurred the far- 
ther he backed from the scene of anticipated conflict. 

The other party kept aloof, proving neither hostile nor 
friendly, and 'Akil, as he passed, contemptuously blew his 
nose at them. They were believed to belong to the tribe 
El Bely or El Mikhail Meshakah, whose territories were 
hereabouts. Doubtless, they were the same who hailed 
us, to know whether the horsemen who had passed were 
friends or enemies. 

After dinner, some of the party crossed the river to 
examine the ruins of a bridge, seen by the land party 
from the upper terrace, just before descending to the river. 
They had to force their way through a tangled thicket, 
and found a Koman bridge spanning a dry bed, once, per- 
haps, the main channel of the Jordan, now diverted in its 

The bridge was of Roman construction, with one arch 
entire, except a longitudinal fissure on the top, and the 
ruins of two others, one of them at right angles with the 
main arch, probably for a mill-sluice. The span of the 
main arch was fifteen feet ; the height, from the bed of 
the stream to the keystone, twenty feet. From an eleva- 
tion, the party could see, towards the east, three or four 


miles distant from them, .a line of verdure indicating a 
water-course. The Arabs say that it is the Zerka (Jabok), 
which, on the maps, flows into the Jordan very near this 
place. It approaches quite close, and then pursues a 
parallel course with the Jordan. To-morrow, we shall 
probably determine the exact point of junction. To the 
best of our knowledge, this bridge has never before been 
described by travellers. 

We were amused this evening at witnessing an Arab 
kitchen in full operation. The burning embers of a watch- 
fire were scraped aside, and the heated ground scooped in 
a hollow to the depth of six or eight inches, and about 
two feet in diameter. Within this hole was laid, with 
scrupulous exactness of fit and accommodation to its con- 
cave surface, a mass of half-kneaded dough, made of flour 
and water. The coals were again raked over it, and the 
fire replenished. A huge pot of rice was then placed 
upon the fire, into which, from time to time, a quantity 
of liquid butter was poured, and the compound stirred 
with a stout branch of a tree, not entirely denuded of its 
leaves. When the mess was sufficiently cooked, the pot 
was removed from the fire, the coals again withdrawn, 
and the bread taken from its primitive oven. Besmeared 
with dirt and ashes, and dotted with cinders, it bore few 
evidences of being an article of food. In consistency, as 
well as in outward appearance, it resembled a long-used 
blacksmith's apron, rounded off at the corners. The 
dirtiest ash-pone of the southern negro would have been 
a delicacy, compared to it. 

The whole party gathered round the pot in the open 
air, and each one tearing off a portion of the leather-bread, 
worked it into a scoop or spoon, and, dipping pell-mell 
into the pilau, made a voracious meal, treating the spoons 
as the Argonauts served their tables, eating them for 
dessert. With a wash in the Jordan, they were imme- 


diately after ready for sleep, and in half an hour were as 
motionless as the heaps of baggage around them. 

Monday, April 17. At an early hour, Mustafa, shiver- 
ing and yawning, was moving about in preparation of the 
morning meal. Long before the sun had risen over the 
mountains of Gilead, the whole encampment was astir, and 
all was haste, for there was a long day's work before us. 

Although the air was damp and chilly, we knew, from 
past experience, that before noon the sun would blaze 
upon us with a power sufficient to carbonize those who 
should be unprotected from its fierceness. Moreover, 
from the plateau behind our camp, we could see nothing 
towards the south but rough and barren cliffs, sweeping 
into the purple haze of the lower Ghor. And the rolling 
sand-hills, which form the surface of the upper plain, 
stretched far along the bases of the mountains without a 
mark of cultivation, or the shelter of a tree. Heretofore, 
we had seen patches of grain, but there were none now 
visible, and all before us was the bleakness of desolation. 

The banks of the river, too, were less verdant, except 
immediately upon the margin, and the vegetation was 
mostly confined to the ghurrah, the tamarisk, and the 
cane ; the oleander and the asphodel no longer fringed 
the margin, and the acacia was nowhere seen upon the 
bordering fields. 

As soon as we were up, I sent for the Emir, the Sherif, 
and 'Akil, and, in presence of the two last, told the first 
that, as we were not now in his territory, we no longer 
required his presence. I then paid him for the services 
of the guides he had furnished, and for the extra assist- 
ance they had rendered in getting the boats down the 
rapids. As he had declined going in the boats yesterday, 
when his presence might have been important, I refused 
to give him anything more than the aba and koofeeyeh 
he had before received. 'Akil accompanied him to the 


top of the hill, where they both alighted, and, in the sight 
of the camp, embraced each other. 

With a bite and a sup from Mustafa's frying-pan, we 
were off at 6.25 A. M. The river, forty yards wide and 
seven feet deep, was flowing at the rate of six knots down 
a rapid descent, with much drift-wood in the stream. 

We soon passed two large islands, and at 6.57, saw 
tracks of wild beasts on the shore. 

Many large trees were floating down, and a number were 
lodged against the banks, some of them recently uprooted, 
for they had their green leaves upon them, and, as on yes- 
terday, there were some small ones lodged high up in the 
branches of the overhanging trees. The banks were all 
alluvion, and we began to see the cane in blossom. Alto- 
gether, the vegetation was more tropical than heretofore. 

At 9 A. M., quite warm. Many birds were singing about 
the banks and under cover of the foliage, but we saw few 
of them ; now and then some pigeons, doves, and cranes, 
and occasionally abulbul. At 10.04, stopped to examine 
a hill, and collected specimens of semi-indurated clay, 
coated with efflorescence of lime. The basis of the ridges 
on either side presented little evidences of vegetation or 
fertility of soil, notwithstanding their proximity to the 
river. A few scrubby bushes were scattered here and 
there, exhibiting the utter sterility of the country 
through which we were journeying. 

Fields of thistles and briars occasionally varied the 
scene ; and their sharp projecting thorns bore the motto 
of the Gael, " Nemo me impune lacessit." 

The hills which bounded the valley were immense 
masses of silicious conglomerate, which, with occasional 
limestone, extended as far as the eye could reach, show- 
ing the geological formation of the Ghor from Lake Tibe- 
rias to the Dead Sea, where the limestone is said to pre- 


High up in the faces of these hills were immense 
caverns and excavations, whether natural or artificial we 
could not tell. The mouths of these caves were black- 
ened, as if by smoke. They may be the haunts of pre- 
datory robbers. At 11.40, stopped for meridian observa- 
tion, near a huge basaltic rock. 

At 1.20, came to the Kiver Jabok (Zurka), flowing in 
from E. N. E., a small stream trickling down a deep and 
wide torrent bed. Stopped to examine it. The water 
was sweet, but the stones upon the bare exposed bank 
were coated with salt. There was another bed, then dry, 
showing that in times of freshet there were two outlets to 
this tributary, which is incorrectly placed upon the maps. 

There was much of the ghurrah, which seems to 
delight in a dry soil and a saline atmosphere. The efflo- 
rescence on the stones, and on the leaves of the ghurrah, 
must be a deposition of the atmosphere, when the wind 
blows from the Dead Sea, about twenty miles distant, in 
a direct line. 

It was here that Jacob wrestled with the angel, at 
whose touch the sinew of his thigh shrunk up. In com- 
memoration of that event, the Jews, to this day, carefully 
exclude that sinew from animals they kill for food. 

This river, too, marks the northern boundary of the 
land of the Ammonites. 

At 1.30, started again, and soon after saw a wild 
boar swimming across the river. Gave chase, but he 
escaped us. 

At 4.32, passed a dry torrent-bed on the right, probably 
the Wady el Hammam, which separated the lands of the 
tribe of Manasses from those of the tribe of Ephraim. 
Still opposite to us was the land of the tribe of Gad. On 
that side, about twenty miles distant, was Amman, Rab- 
bath Ammon, the capital of the Ammonites. The 


country of Amnion derived its name from Ben-ammi, the 
son of Lot. 

At 4.52, we passed down wild and dangerous rapids, 
sweeping along the base of a lofty, perpendicular hill. 

At 5.14, a small stream on the left : stopped to exa- 
mine it; found the water clear and sweet; tempera- 
ture, 76°. 

At 5.40, heard and caught glimpses of an Arab in the 
bushes on the left ; at the same time a number of Arabs 
were calling loudly to us from a hill on the right. Stopped 
for the other boat to close in, and prepared for a skir- 
mish ; at this moment there was a shot from above, and 
concluding that the other boat had been fired upon, I 
directed the men to shoot the first objects they saw in 
the bushes. Fortunately the man we had first seen had 
now become alarmed and concealed himself; and imme- 
diately after, the Fanny Skinner hove in sight, having 
stopped a moment to fire at a bird. The man in the 
bushes proved to be a messenger sent by the Arabs on the 
hill to show us the place of rendezvous for the night. 
They had been spoken by the caravan as it passed ; and 
their messenger, instead of selecting a conspicuous place 
on the right bank, had crossed over, and was floundering 
through the thicket when we came upon him. 

This Arab was sent by the sheikh of Huteim, a tribe 
near Jericho, and brought from him a present of oranges, 
and a thin, paste-like cake made in Damascus, of debs (a 
syrup from grapes), starch, and an aromatic seed, I think 
the sesame. The oranges were peculiarly grateful after 
the heat and fatigue of the day. The cake was very good 
if you were very hungry, and, like the marchioness's 
lemonade, excellent, if you made-believe very hard. 

The sun went down and night gradually closed in upon 
us, and the rush of the river seemed more impetuous as 
the light decreased. We twice passed down rapids, 


taking care each time to hug the boldest shore. Besides 
the transition from light to darkness, we had exchanged 
a heated and stifling for a chilly atmosphere ; and while 
the men, more fortunate, kept their blood in circulation 
by pulling gently with the oars, the sitters in the stern- 
sheets fairly shivered with the cold. 

There had been such a break-down in the bed of the 
stream since we passed the Jabok, and such evident indi- 
cations of volcanic formation, that we became exceedingly 
anxious. In the obscure gloom we seemed to be station- 
ary and the shores to be flitting by us. With its tumul- 
tuous rush the river hurried us onward, and we knew 
not what the next moment would bring forth — whether it 
would dash us upon a rock or plunge us down a cataract. 
The friendly Arab, although he knew the fords and best 
camping-places on the river, in his own district, was, like 
all the rest we had met, wholly unacquainted with the 
stream at all other points. 

Under other circumstances it doubtless would have 
been prudent to lay by until morning ; but we were all 
wet, had neither food nor change of clothing, and apart 
from danger of attack in a neighbourhood represented as 
peculiarly bad, sickness would have been the inevitable 
consequence of a night spent in hunger, cold and watch- 

At 9.30 P. M. we arrived at "El Meshra," the bathing- 
place of the Christian pilgrims, after having been fifteen 
hours in the boats. This ford is consecrated by tradition 
as the place where the Israelites passed over with the 
ark of the covenant; and where our blessed Saviour was 
baptized by John. Feeling that it would be desecration 
to moor the boats at a place so sacred, we passed it, and 
with some difficulty found a landing below. 

My first act was to bathe in the consecrated stream, 
thanking God, first, for the precious favour of being per- 


mitted to visit such a spot ; and secondly for his protect- 
ing care throughout our perilous passage. For a long 
time after, I sat upon the bank, my mind oppressed with 
awe, as I mused upon the great and wondrous events 
which had here occurred. Perhaps directly before me, 
for this is near Jericho, " the waters stood and rose up 
upon an heap," and the multitudinous host of the Israel- 
ites passed over, — and in the bed of the stream, a few 
yards distant, may be the twelve stones, marking " the 
place where the feet of the priests which bare the ark of 
the covenant stood." 

Tradition, sustained by the geographical features of the 
country, makes this also the scene of the baptism of the 
Redeemer. The mind of man, trammelled by sin, cannot 
soar in contemplation of so sublime an event. On that 
wondrous day, when the Deity veiled in flesh descended 
the bank, all nature, hushed in awe, looked on, — and the 
impetuous river, in grateful homage, must have stayed 
its course, and gently laved the body of its Lord. 

In such a place, it seemed almost desecration to permit 
the mind to be diverted by the cares which pressed upon 
it — but it was wrong — for next to faith, surely the highest 
Christian obligation is the performance of duty. 

Over against this was no doubt the Bethabara of the 
New Testament, whither the Saviour retired when the 
Jews sought to take him at the feast of the dedication. 
The interpretation of Bethabara, is " a place of passage 
over."/ Our Lord repaired to Bethabara, where John 
was baptizing; and as the ford probably derived its 
name from the passage of the Israelites with the ark of 
the covenant, the inference is not unreasonable that this 
spot has been doubly hallowed. 

In ten minutes after leaving the camping-ground this 
morning, the caravan struck upon the plain and crossed 
the wady Faria, pursuing a S. by W. course. Across the 


ravine, they saw a young camel browsing among the 
brown fringe and stunted bushes, which, in these plains, 
serve to protect the scanty vegetation from the intense 
heat of the sun. This creature had evidently strayed 
from some fellahin encampment, or had been abandoned 
by its owners when pursued by the Bedawin, many of 
whom they had seen the day previous on the eastern side 
of the Jordan. The camel being quite wild, racked off at 
full speed on their approach, and the scouts immediately 
started in pursuit. Its motion in running, although awk- 
ward, was exceedingly rapid ; dashing ahead at a long 
and stretching pace, and outstripping most of the horses 
in pursuit. Its whole body swayed regularly with its 
peculiar racking motion, as before remarked, exactly like 
the yawing of a ship before the wind. Whether it walks 
or runs, the camel ever throws forward its hind and fore 
leg on the same side and at the same time, as a horse 
does in pacing. The fugitive was soon caught, and, true 
to its early teaching, knelt down the moment a hand was 
placed upon its neck. 'Akll, abandoning his mare, mounted 
the prize, and, without bridle or halter, dashed off at full 
speed over the plain to increase the number of our beasts 
of burden. The high peak of "Kurn Surtabeh," "horn 
of the rhinoceros," bore W. i N. from this point of their 

Thence, keeping along the chalky plain at the base of 
the western hills, they crossed a low ridge of sand, run- 
ning E. by S., upon which they discovered two upright 
stones, marking a burial-place, called by the Arabs 

At 9.30, they crossed Wady el Aujeh, and pursued a 
southerly course ; the faces of the mountains broken here 
and there with dark precipices, which gradually assumed 
a dark brown and reddish hue, with occasional strata 
resembling red sandstone. 

22* r 


Beyond Wady el Aujeh, the soil bore a scanty crop of 
grass, now much parched; and to the right, where the 
mountains receded from the plain, there were extensive 
fields of low, scrubby bushes, powdered with the clay-dust 
of the soil ; on the left, was a blank desert, with one or 
two oases, and a waving line of green, where the Jordan 
betrayed itself, at times, by a glitter like the sheen from 
bright metal. 

It was now mid-day, and the heat and blinding light 
of the sun were almost insupportable : they were obliged 
to stop to rest the wearied caravan, the Arabs making a 
tent of their abas, supported on spears. 

At 1 P. M., they were again in motion, and, passing 
through a field of wild mustard, came to an open space, 
nothing but sand and rocks — a perfect desert — where 
were traces of a broad-paved road, which they believed to 
be Roman. At 3 P. M., for the first time, they saw some 
gazelles, and gave chase to them. At a low, whistling 
noise made by one of the Arabs, the affrighted creatures 
stopped, and looked earnestly towards them ; but, owing 
to an incautious movement, they took to flight, and went 
bounding over the hills beyond the possibility of pursuit. 

Crossing Wady el Abyad, they passed through a grove 
of nubk and wild olive, and came upon a ruined village. 
Shortly after, they stopped to water in the Wady Na-wa- 
'imeh, with a shallow stream of clear, sweet water. 
Thence leaving the Quarantania (reported to be the 
mountain of our Saviour's fasting and temptation) on the 
right, and passing east of the fountain healed by Elisha, 
and of Jericho, they came to Ain el Hadj (Pilgrim's foun- 
tain), in the plain of Gilgal. Here they were joined by a 
few Riha (Jericho) Arabs, all having long-barrelled guns, 
with extraordinary crooked ram's-horn powder-flasks, per- 
haps modelled after the horns employed by the Israelites in 
toppling down the walls of Jericho. Of this city, the first 


conquest of the Israelites west of the Jordan, and where 
Herod the Great died, but a solitary tower remains (if, 
indeed, it be the true site) . How truly has the curse of 
Joshua respecting it been fulfilled ! - Here the wilder- 
ness blossomed as the rose. A broad tract was covered 
with the olive, the nubk, and many shrubs and flowers. 
From it they had the first view of the Dead Sea, and the 
grim mountains of Moab to the south-east. There were 
few evidences of volcanic agency visible, but the calcined 
and desolate aspect indicated the theatre of a fierce con- 
flagration ; — the cliffs, of the hue of ashes, looking as if 
they had been riven by thunderbolts, and scathed by 

Pursuing a south-easterly course, they passed a broad 
tract of argillaceous soil, rising in fantastic hills, among 
which they started a coney from its form. At 5 P. M., 
they came upon the banks of the river, excessively wea- 
ried, having been eleven hours in the saddle. 

The tents had been pitched by the land-party before 
we arrived, directly on the bank down which the pilgrims 
would, early in the morning, descend to the river. Mr. 
Dale had objected to pitching them on this spot, but our 
Arabs assured him that the pilgrims would not arrive 
until late to-morrow. The night was already far ad- 
vanced, and the men were so weary, that I thought it 
best to postpone moving the tents until the morning. 

After a slight and hurried supper, we stationed sen- 
tries, and threw ourselves, exhausted, upon the lap of 
mother earth, with the tent our covering, and whatever 
we could find for pillows. 

During the night there was an alarm. — We sprang 
from the tents at the report of a gun, and found our Arab 
scouts on the right hailing some one on the opposite 
bank ; upon whom, contrary to all military usage, they 


had previously fired. It proved to be a fellah, attempting 
to cross the ford, which was too deep. 

The alarm, although a false one, had the good effect 
of showing that all were upon the alert. At this time, 
it is said, there are always a great many Arabs prowling 
about, to cut off pilgrims straying from the strong mili- 
tary escort which accompanies them from Jerusalem, 
under the command of the Pasha, or an officer of high 

We have, to-day, according to 'Akil, passed through the 
territory of the Beni Adwans and Beni Sukr's, and into 
those of the wandering tribes of the lower Ghor. On 
the opposite side is " the valley over against Beth-peor," 
where the Israelites dwelt before they crossed the Jordan. 

In the descent of the Jordan, we have, at every 
encampment, determined its astronomical position, and 
its relative level with the Mediterranean; and have, 
throughout, sketched the topography of the river and the 
valley. The many windings of the river, and its nu- 
merous rapids, will account for the difference of level 
between lake Tiberias and the Dead Sea. 

Tuesday, April 18. At 3 A. M., we were aroused by 
the intelligence that the pilgrims were coming. Eising 
in haste, we beheld thousands of torchlights, with a dark 
mass beneath, moving rapidly over the hills. Striking 
our tents with precipitation, we hurriedly removed them 
and all our effects a short distance to the left. We had 
scarce finished, when they were upon us : — men, women, 
and children, mounted on camels, horses, mules, and 
donkeys, rushed impetuously by toward the bank. They 
presented the appearance of fugitives from a routed army. 

Our Bedawin friends here stood us in good stead ; — 
sticking their tufted spears before our tents, they mounted 
their steeds and formed a military cordon round us. But 
for them we should have been run down, and most of our 


effects trampled upon, scattered and lost. Strange that 
we should have been shielded from a Christian throng by 
wild children of the desert — Muslims in name, but 
pagans in reality. Nothing but the spears and swarthy 
faces of the Arabs saved us. 

I had, in the mean time, sent the boats to the opposite 
shore, a little below the bathing-place, as well to be out 
of the wav as to be in readiness to render assistance, 
should any of the crowd be swept down by the current, 
and in danger of drowning. 

While the boats were taking their position, one of the 
earlier bathers cried out that it was a sacred place ; but 
when the purpose was explained to him, he warmly 
thanked us. Moored to the opposite shore, with their 
crews in them, they presented an unusual spectacle. 

The party which had disturbed us was the advanced 
guard of the great body of the pilgrims. At 5, just at 
the dawn of day, the last made its appearance, coming 
over the crest of a high ridge, in one tumultuous and 
eager throng. 

In all the wild haste of a disorderly rout, Copts and 
Russians, Poles, Armenians, Greeks and Syrians, from all 
parts of Asia, from Europe, from Africa and from far-dis- 
tant America, on they came ; men, women and children, of 
every age and hue, and in every variety of costume ; talk- 
ing, screaming, shouting, in almost every known language 
under the sun. Mounted as variously as those who had 
preceded them, many of the women and children were 
suspended in baskets or confined in cages; and, with 
their eyes strained towards the river, heedless of all inter- 
vening obstacles, they hurried eagerly forward, and dis- 
mounting in haste, and disrobing with precipitation, 
rushed down the bank and threw themselves into the 

They seemed to be absorbed by one impulsive feeling, 


and perfectly regardless of the observations of others. 
Each one plunged himself, or was dipped by another, three 
times, below the surface, in honour of the Trinity ; and 
then filled a bottle, or some other utensil, from the river. 
The bathing-dress of many of the pilgrims was a white 
gown with a black cross upon it. Most of them, as soon 
as they were dressed, cut branches of the agnus castus, 
or willow ; and, dipping them in the consecrated stream, 
bore them away as memorials of their visit. 

In an hour, they began to disappear ; and in less than 
three hours the trodden surface of the lately crowded 
bank reflected no human shadow. The pageant disap- 
peared as rapidly as it had approached, and left to us 
once more the silence and the solitude of the wilderness. 
It was like a dream. An immense crowd of human be- 
ings, said to be 8000, but I thought not so many, had 
passed and repassed before our tents and left not a vestige 
behind them. 

Every one bathed, a few Franks excepted ; the greate] 
number, in a quiet and reverential manner ; but some, 
am sorry to say, displayed an ill-timed levity. 

Besides a party of English, a lady among them, anc 
three French naval officers, we were gladdened by meet- 
ing two of our countrymen, who were gratified in their 
turn at seeing the stars and stripes floating above the con- 
secrated river, and the boats which bore them ready to 
rescue, if necessary, a drowning pilgrim. 

We were in the land of Benjamin ; opposite was that 
of Reuben, which was in the country of the Ammonites, 
and on the plain of Moab. 

A short distance from us was Jericho, the walls of 
which fell at the sound of trumpets ; and fourteen miles 
on the other side was " Heshbon, where Sihon the king 
of the Amorites dwelt." 

Upon this bank are a few plane trees and many willow 


§ \ 

I'll ,1! 

\ ': 





and tamarisk, with some of the agnus castus. Within 
the bank and about the plain are scattered the acacia, the 
nubk (spina Christi), and the mala insana, or mad apple. 
On the opposite side are acacia, tamarisk, willow, and a 
thicket of canes lower down. 

The pilgrims descended to the river where the bank 
gradually slopes. Above and below it is precipitous. 
The banks must have been always high in places, and 
the water deep ; or the axe-head would not have fallen 
into the water, and Elisha's miracle been unnecessary to 
recover it. 

Shortly after the departure of the pilgrims, a heavy 
cloud settled above the western hills, and we had sharp 
lightning and loud thunder, followed by a refreshing 
shower of rain. 

We were all much wearied, and in consequence of liv- 
ing upon salt food since we left Tiberias, were much in 
need of refreshment. Disappointed in procuring fresh 
provisions from Jericho, we determined to proceed at once 
to the Dead Sea, only a few hours distant. 

Dr. Anderson volunteered to go to Jerusalem to super- 
intend the transportation of the bread I had sent there ; 
and I gladly accepted his services, instructing him to 
make a geological reconnoissance of his route. Before 
starting, I made the following report to the Secretary of 
the Navy: 

"MeshrcPa, on the Jordan, near Jericho, 1 
April 18, 1848. j 

" Sir : — I have the honour to report our safe arrival at 
this place, within a few miles of the Dead Sea. While at 
Tiberias, I purchased for 500 piastres ($21.25), a frame 
boat to assist in conveying our things and save expense 
of transportation. With a large and beautiful lake before 
them, filled with fish and abounding with wild fowl, the 
misgoverned and listless inhabitants had but the solitary 


boat I purchased, used only to bring wood across from the 
opposite side. On the 10th ? at 2 P. M., we started, and, 
proceeding to the foot of the lake, commenced our de- 
scent of the Jordan. Notwithstanding the most diligent 
inquiry, I could procure no information to be relied on, 
respecting the river, in Tiberias. 

" To my consternation, I soon found that the Jordan 
was interrupted in its course by frequent and most fearful 
rapids. Determined, however, to persevere, I was cor- 
dially supported by every one under my command. We 
had to clear out old channels, to make new ones, and 
sometimes, placing our sole trust in Providence, plunged 
with headlong velocity down appalling descents. So 
great were the difficulties, that on the second evening we 
were in a direct line but twelve miles distant from Tibe- 
rias. On the third morning I was obliged to abandon the 
frame boat from her shattered condition. No other kind 
of boats in the world than such as we have, combining 
great strength with buoyancy, could have sustained the 
shocks they encountered. As the passage by the river 
was considered the most perilous, alike from the dangers 
of its channel and the liability to an attack, I felt it my 
duty, as I have before advised you, to undertake it in 
person. With the < Fanny Mason I took the lead, and 
Passed Midshipman Aulick followed in the ' Fanny Skin- 
ner.' This young officer has throughout evinced so much 
coolness and discretion, in the most trying situations, as 
to win my warmest approbation, and I soon felt sure that 
I had one behind me who would follow whithersoever I 
might lead. I am happy to say that the boats, although 
severely bruised, are not materially injured, and in a few 
hours hope to repair all damages. 

" We reached here last night after dark, having made 
about fifty miles since sunrise ; and I have stopped here, 
in part, for the purpose mentioned above, and partly to 


rescue any of the pilgrims who might be in danger of 
drowning — accidents, it is said, occurring every year. 
This morning, before daylight, they began to arrive, and 
by five o'clock, there were several thousands on the bank. 
The boats were moored on the opposite side, where they 
were out of the way, and yet convenient to render assist- 
ance, should it unfortunately be required. I am happy 
to say that nothing occurred, and the pilgrims have all 

"The great secret of the depression between Lake 
Tiberias and the Dead Sea, is solved by the tortuous 
course of the Jordan. In a space of sixty miles of lati- 
tude and four or five miles of longitude, the Jordan tra- 
verses at least 200 miles. The river is in the latter 
stage of a freshet — a few weeks earlier or later, and pas- 
sage would have been impracticable. As it is, we have 
plunged down twenty-seven threatening rapids, besides a 
great many of lesser magnitude. 

"As soon as leisure permits, I will send you a topogra- 
phical sketch of the river, when you will perceive that its 
course is more sinuous even than that of the Mississippi. 

"Although the party has been very much exposed, 
those in the boats especially, from being constantly wet, 
we are perfectly well. Until I hear from you on the sub- 
ject, however, I deem it my duty to retain Dr. Anderson, 
whose medical or surgical assistance may at any moment 
be required. 

" We have met with no interruption from the Arabs, 

although we were twice called upon to stand to our arms. 

Our Bedawin allies have proved efficient and faithful. 

" I am, very respectfully, &c, 

" W. F. Lynch, Lt. U. S. N. 
" Hon. J. Y. Mason, 

" Secretary of the Navy. 




At 1.45, started with the boats, the caravan making a 
direct line for Ain el Feshkah, on the north-west shore of 
the Dead Sea, the appointed place of rendezvous. 

The course of the river was at first S. W. In about 
half an hour, we were hailed from the right bank, when 
we stopped and took in sheikh Helu, of the tribe Huteim, 
his name the same as that of the ford. 

From 1.50 to 1.57, course varying from N. W. to S. 
S. W. Stopped to fill the India-rubber water-bags, having 
passed a small island thickly wooded. Weather close 
and sultry. At 2.22, started again, course from N. N. E. 
to S. by W. ; the right bank red clay, twenty-five feet 
high ; left bank low, with high canes and willows. 2.25, 
a quantity of drift-wood; and 2.36, a camel in the river, 
washed down by the current in attempting to cross the 
ford last night. Weather cloudy at intervals, river forty 
yards wide, twelve feet deep, bottom blue mud. The 
banks alternating high and low — highest at the bends 
and lowest at the opposite points. 

At 2.41, passed another camel in the river, the poor 
beast leaning exhausted against the bank, and his owner 
seated despondingly above him. We could not help him ! 

From 2.42 to 2.54, course from S. to S. E. and back; 
many pigeons flying about. At this time, there was a 
nauseous smell on the left or eastern shore — traced it to a 
small stream running down the Wady Hesbon ; the banks 



very low, and covered with cane and tamarisk. The river 
here fifty yards wide, eleven feet deep, muddy bottom, 
current four knots. 2.59, sand and clay banks, with some 
pebbles on the right ; everything indicating the vicinity 
of the Dead Sea. 

At 3, course S. E. by S., water very smooth, discoloured 
but sweet. Saw a heron, a bulbul, and a snipe. 3.04, a 
foetid smell, proceeding from a small stream on the right 
or western shore. At 3.07, low and sedgy banks, high 
mountains of the Dead Sea in sight to the southward and 
westward; saw many wild ducks. 3.09, both banks, about 
twelve feet high, bore marks of recent overflow. 3.10, a 
small round red clay hill on the right, bearing S. W. by S. 
3.11, passed a bare channel, left by the freshet. 3.12, 
course south a long stretch, river seventy yards wide, left 
bank very low, covered with tamarisk, willow, and cane ; 
right bank fifteen to eighteen feet high, red clay, with weeds 
and shrubs — the mala insana, spina Christi, and some of 
the agnus castus — a few tamarisk at the water's edge. 

At 3.13, the mountains to the S. E. over the Dead Sea 
presented a very rugged, iron-like appearance. Water of 
the river sweet. 3.15, the left bank low, running out to 
a flat cape. Eight bank low with thick canes, some of 
them resembling the sugar-cane ; twenty feet back the 
bank twelve feet high, red clay. 3.16, water brackish, 
but no unpleasant smell ; banks red clay and mud, gradu- 
ally becoming lower and lower ; river eighty yards wide, 
and fast increasing in breadth, seven feet deep, muddy 
bottom, current three knots. Saw the Dead Sea over the 
flat, bearing south — mountains beyond. The surface of 
the water became ruffled. 3.22, a snipe flew by — fresh 
wind from north-west — one large and two small islands 
at the mouth of the river ; the islands of mud six to eight 
feet high, evidently subject to overflow ; started a heron 
and a white gull. 


At 3.25 ? passed by the extreme western point, where 
the river is 180 yards wide and three feet deep, and en- 
tered upon the Dead Sea; the water, a nauseous com- 
pound of bitters and salts. 

The river, where it enters the sea, is inclined towards 
the eastern shore, very much as is represented on the 
map of Messrs. Robinson and Smith, which is the most 
exact of any we have seen. There is a considerable 
bay between the river and the mountains of Belka, in 
Ammon, on the eastern shore of the sea. 

A fresh north-west wind was blowing as we rounded 
the point. We endeavoured to steer a little to the north 
of west, to make a true west course, and threw the patent 
log overboard to measure the distance ; but the wind rose 
so rapidly that the boats could not keep head to wind, 
and we were obliged to haul the log in. The sea con- 
tinued to rise with the increasing wind, which gradually 
freshened to a gale, and presented an agitated surface of 
foaming brine ; the spray, evaporating as it fell, left 
incrustations of salt upon our clothes, our hands and 
faces ; and while it conveyed a prickly sensation wherever 
it touched the skin, was, above all, exceedingly painful to 
the eyes. The boats, heavily laden, struggled sluggishly 
at first ; but when the wind freshened in its fierceness, 
from the density of the water, it seemed as if their bows 
were encountering the sledge-hammers of the Titans, 
instead of the opposing waves of an angry sea. 

At 3.50, passed a piece of drift-wood, and soon after 
saw three swallows and a gull. At 4.55, the wind blew 
so fiercely that the boats could make no headway ; not 
even the Fanny Skinner, which was nearer to the weather 
shore, and we drifted rapidly to leeward : threw over 
some of the fresh water, to lighten the Fanny Mason, 
which laboured very much, and I began to fear that both 
boats would founder. 


At 5.40, finding that we were losing every moment, 
and that, with the lapse of each succeeding one, the 
danger increased, kept away for the northern shore, in 
the hope of being yet able to reach it ; our arms, our 
clothes and skins coated with a greasy salt ; and our eyes, 
lips, and nostrils, smarting excessively. How different 
was the scene before the submerging of the plain, which 
was " even as the garden of the Lord !" 

At times it seemed as if the Dread Almighty frowned 
upon our efforts to navigate a sea, the creation of his 
wrath. There is a tradition among the Arabs that no 
one can venture upon this sea and live. Kepeatedly the 
fates of Costigan and Molyneaux had been cited to deter 
us. The first one spent a few days, the last about 
twenty hours, and returned to the place from whence he 
had embarked, without landing upon its shores. One 
was found dying upon the shore ; the other expired in 
November last, immediately after his return, of fever con- 
tracted upon its waters. 

But, although the sea had assumed a threatening 
aspect, and the fretted mountains, sharp and incinerated, 
loomed terrific on either side, and salt and ashes mingled 
with its sands, and foetid sulphurous springs trickled down 
its ravines, we did not despair : awe-struck, but not terri- 
fied ; fearing the worst, yet hoping for the best, we pre- 
pared to spend a dreary night upon the dreariest waste 
we had ever seen. 

At 5.58, the wind instantaneously abated, and with it 
the sea as rapidly fell; the water, from its ponderous 
quality, settling as soon as the agitating cause had ceased 
to act. Within twenty minutes from the time we bore 
away from a sea which threatened to engulf us, we were 
pulling away, at a rapid rate, over a placid sheet of water, 
that scarcely rippled beneath us ; and a rain-cloud, which 


had enveloped the sterile mountains of the Arabian shore, 
lifted up, and left their rugged outlines basking in the 
light of the setting sun. At 6.10, a flock of gulls flew 
over, while we were passing a small island of mud, a 
pistol-shot distant from the northern shore, and half a 
mile west of the river's mouth. At 6.20, a light wind 
sprung up from S. E., and huge clouds drifted over, their 
western edges gorgeous with light, while the great masses 
were dark and threatening. The sun went down, leaving 
beautiful islands of rose-coloured clouds over the coast of 
Judea ; but above the yet more sterile mountains of Moab, 
all was gloomy and obscure. 

The northern shore is an extensive mud-flat, with a 
sandy plain beyond, and is the very type of desolation ; 
branches and trunks of trees lay scattered in every direc- 
tion; some charred and blackened as by fire; others 
white with an incrustation of salt. These were collected 
at high-water mark, designating the line which the water 
had reached prior to our arrival. On the deep sands of 
this shore was laid the scene of the combat between the 
knight of the leopard and Ilderim, the Saracen. The 
north-western shore is an unmixed bed of gravel, coming 
in a gradual slope from the mountains to the sea. The 
eastern coast is a rugged line of mountains, bare of all 
vegetation, — a continuation of the Hauran range, coming 
from the north, and extending south beyond the scope of 
vision, throwing out three marked and seemingly equi- 
distant promontories from its south-eastern extremity. 

At 6.25, passed a gravelly point, with many large 
stones upon it. It is a peninsula, connected with the 
main by a low, narrow isthmus. When the latter is 
overflowed, the peninsula must present the appearance 
of an island, and is doubtless the one to which Stephens, 
Warburton, and Dr. Wilson, allude. 

We were, for some time, apprehensive of missing the 


place of rendezvous; for the Sheikh of Huteim, never 
having been afloat before, and scarce recovered from his 
fright during the gale, was bewildered in his mind, and 
perfectly useless as a guide. The moon had not risen ; 
and in the starlight, obscured by the shadow of the 
mountains, we pulled along the shore in some anxiety. 
At one moment we saw the gleam of a fire upon the 
beach, to the southward ; and, firing a gun, made for it 
with all expedition. In a short time it disappeared ; and 
while resting on the oars, waiting for some signal to direct 
us, there were the flashes and reports of guns and sounds 
of voices upon the cliffs, followed by other flashes and 
reports far back upon the shore which we had passed. 
Divided between apprehensions of an attack upon our 
friends and a stratagem for ourselves, we were uncertain 
where to land. Determined, however, to ascertain, we 
closed in with the shore, and pulled along the beach, 
sounding as we proceeded. 

A little before 8 P. M., we came up with our friends, 
who had stopped at Ain el Feshka, fountain of the stride. 

The shouts and signals we had heard had been from 
the scouts and caravan, which had been separated from 
each other, making mutual signals of recognition ; they 
had likewise responded to ours, which, coming from two 
points some distance apart, for a time disconcerted us. 
It was a wild scene upon an unknown and desolate coast : 
the mysterious sea, the shadowy mountains, the human 
voices among the cliffs, the vivid flashes and the loud 
reports reverberating along the shore 

Unable to land near the fountain, we were compelled 
to haul the boats upon the beach, about a mile below ; 
and, placing some Arabs to guard them, took the men to 
the camp, pitched in a cane-brake, beside a brackish 
spring, where, from necessity, we made a frugal supper ; 
and then, wet and weary, threw ourselves upon a bed of 


dust, beside a foetid marsh ; — the dark, fretted mountains 
behind — the sea, like a huge cauldron, before us — its sur- 
face shrouded in a lead-coloured mist. 

Towards midnight, while the moon was rising above 
the eastern mountains, and the shadows of the clouds 
were reflected wild and fantastically upon the surface of 
the sombre sea ; and everything, the mountains, the sea, 
the clouds, seemed spectre-like and unnatural, the sound 
of the convent-bell of Mar Saba struck gratefully upon 
the ear ; for it was the Christian call to prayer, and told 
of human wants and human sympathies to the wayfarers 
on the borders of the Sea of Death. 

The shore party stated that, after leaving the green 
banks of the Jordan, they passed over a sandy tract of 
damp ravines, where it was difficult for the camels to 
march without slipping. Ascending a slight elevation, 
they traversed a plain encrusted with salt, and sparsely 
covered with sour and saline bushes, some dead and 
withered, and snapping at the slightest touch given 
them in passing. They noticed many cavernous excava- 
tions in the hill-sides, — the dwelling-places of the Israel- 
ites, of early Christians, and of hermits during the time 
of the Crusades.* They at length reached a sloping, 
dark-brown sand, forming the beach of the Dead Sea, and 
followed it to El Feshkha. Our Arabs feared wild beasts, 
but there is nothing for one to live on, in these unte- 
nanted solitudes. The frogs alone bore vocal testimony 
of their existence. 

In descending the Ghor, Mr. Dale sketched the topo- 
graphy of the country, and took compass bearings as he 
proceeded. The route of the caravan was on the bank 
of the upper terrace, on the west side, every day, except 

* " And because of the Midianites, the children of Israel made them the 
dens which are in the mountains, and caves, and strongholds." — Judges, 
xi. 2. 


one, when it travelled on the eastern side. That ele- 
vated plain was at first covered with fields of grain, but 
became more barren as they journeyed south. The ter- 
race was strongly marked, particularly in the southern 
portion, where there was a continuous range of perpen- 
dicular cliffs of limestone and conglomerate. This terrace 
averaged about 500 feet above the flat of the Jordan, the 
latter mostly covered with trees and grass. They were 
each day compelled to descend to the lower plain, to meet 
the boats. 

Wednesday, April 19. I was first recalled to conscious- 
ness this morning by rays of light, the pencilled mes- 
sengers of the early dawn, shooting above the dark and 
fretted mountains which form the eastern boundary of 
the sea. This day I had assigned to rest and preparation 
for future work, and intended to let all hands sleep late, 
after the great fatigue of yesterday ; but, soon after day- 
break, we were startled with the intelligence that the 
boats were nearly filled with water. The wind had risen 
towards morning, and a heavy sea was tumbling in. We 
hastened to the beach to secure the boats, and dry our 
effects. With all our discomfort, we had slept better than 
usual, having been undisturbed by fleas. The wind was 
fresh from the south, and the brawling sound of the 
breakers was reverberated from the perpendicular face of 
the mountains. We were encamped just above the spring, 
in a clearing made in the cane-break, under a cliff upwards 
of a thousand feet high — old crumbling limestone and con- 
glomerate of a dull ochre colour, 

The fountain is a shallow and clear stream of water, at 
the temperature of 84°, which flows from a cane-break, 
near the base of the mountain. It is soft and brackish, 
and there is no deposit of silicious or cretaceous matter, 
but it has a strong smell of sulphur. We had no means 
of analyzing it. A short distance from its source, it 



spreads over a considerable space, and its diagonal course 
to the sea is marked by a more vivid line of vegetation 
than that which surrounds it. Between the cane-break 
and the sea is the beach, covered with minute fragments 
of flint. In the water of the sea, near the shore, are 
standing many dead trees, about two inches in diameter. 
We could neither find nor hear of the ruins mentioned 
by Dr. Kobinson, and looked in vain for sulphur. The 
pebbles of bituminous limestone of which he speaks, are 
in great abundance. 

Our Arabs finding it impossible to sustain their horses 
on the salt and acrid vegetation of this place, and Ain 
Jidy being represented as no better, I discharged them 
and the camel-drivers, and applied to the Pasha at Jeru- 
salem for a few soldiers, to guard the depot I intended 
forming at Ain Jidy, while we should be exploring the 
sea and its shores. 

'Akll and his followers were to leave us here, but Sherif, 
with his servant, would remain. Sent Sherif to Jeru- 
salem, to assist in superintending the transportation of 
stores, and to make arrangements for supplies of provi- 
sions from Hebron. Sent with him everything we could 
dispense with — saddles, bridles, holsters, and all but a 
few articles of clothing. 

At 1 P. M., made an excursion along the base of the 
mountain, towards Ras es Feshka (cape of the stride), and 
gathered some specimens of conglomerate and some fresh- 
water shells in the bed of the stream. We were struck 
with the almost total absence of round stones and pebbles 
upon the beach — the shore is covered with small angular 
fragments of flint. Started two partridges of a beautiful 
stone-colour, so much like the rocks, that they could 
only be distinguished when in motion. Heard the notes 
of a solitary bird in the cane-brake, which we could not 
identify. The statement that nothing can live upon the 


shores of the sea, is, therefore, disproved. The home 
and the usual haunt of the partridge may be among the 
cliffs above, but the smaller bird we heard must have its 
nest in the thicket. 

But the scene was one of unmixed desolation. The 
air, tainted with the sulphuretted hydrogen of the stream, 
gave a tawny hue even to the foliage of the cane, which 
is elsewhere of so light a green. Except the cane- 
brakes, clustering along the marshy stream which dis- 
figured, while it sustained them, there was no vegetation 
whatever; barren mountains, fragments of rocks, black- 
ened by sulphureous deposit, and an unnatural sea, with 
low, dead trees upon its margin, all within the scope of 
vision, bore a sad and sombre aspect. We had never 
before beheld such desolate hills, such calcined barrenness. 
The most arid desert has its touch of genial nature : 
u But here, above, around, below, 
In mountain or in glen, 
Nor tree, nor plant, nor shrub, nor flower, 
Nor aught of vegetative power, 
The wearied eye may ken ; 
But all its rocks at random thrown, 
Black waves, bare crags, and banks of stone." 

There was an unpleasant sulphureous smell in the air, 
which we attributed to the impregnated waters of the 
fountain and marsh. 

'Akil, to whom we were all much attached, came to 
see us prior to his departure. To our surprise and great 
delight, we learned, in the course of conversation, that he 
was well acquainted and on friendly terms with some of 
the tribes on the eastern shore. I therefore prevailed 
upon him to proceed there by land ; apprise the tribes of 
our coming, and make arrangements to supply us with 
provisions. In ten days he was to be in Kerak, and have 
a look-out for us stationed upon the eastern shore near 
the peninsula. It was a most gratifying arrangement, for 


we might now hope to avoid difficulty where it had been 
most anticipated, and to visit the country of Moab, so 
little known to the world. 

Sometime after the agreement was made, 'Akil returned 
and expressed a wish to be released. I ascertained that 
some of his timid followers had been dissuading him, and 
held him to his obligation. He is a high-toned savage. 
At our former meeting I advanced him money for his ex- 
penses and the purchase of provisions, for which he 
refused to give a receipt or append his seal (an Arab never 
subscribes his name, even when he can write) to the 
contract. I had, therefore, nothing but his word to rely 
upon, which I well knew he would never break. " The 
bar of iron may be broken, but the word of an honest 
man never," and there is as much honour beneath the 
yellow skin of this untutored Arab, as ever swelled the 
breast of the chivalrous Coeur de Lion. He never dreamed 
of falsehood. 

During the early part of the day the weather was plea- 
sant, with passing clouds ; but when unobscured the sun 
was warm. Towards the afternoon the wind subsided, 
and the calm sea, when the sun shone upon it, verified 
the resemblance which it has been said to bear to molten 
lead. In the forenoon it had looked as yesterday, like a 
sheet of foam. 

The night was clear, a thin mist hung over the southern 
shore, and the moon was nearly at the full. Near us, 
when all was still, the sea had the exact hue of absinthe, 
or that peculiar blue of the grotto of " Azzura," described 
in the " Improvisatore." Until 2 A. M. the night was 
serene and lovely. Although the earth was fine and 
penetrating as ashes, and the miasma from the marsh 
anything but agreeable, there were no fleas, and the bites 
which had so smarted from the spray yesterday, are now 
healing up. 



Li il 

'iii '.-. 



To-night our Bedawin had a farewell feast, character- 
istic alike of their habitual waste and want of cleanliness. 
A huge kettle, partly filled with water, was laid on a fire 
made of wood gathered on the beach and strongly impreg- 
nated with salt; when the water boiled, a quantity of 
flour was thrown in and stirred with a branch of drift- 
wood, seven feet long, and nine inches in circumference. 
When the mixture was about the consistence of paste, the 
vessel was taken from the fire and a skin of rancid butter, 
about six pounds, in a fluid state, was poured in; the 
mixture was again stirred, and the Bedawin seated round 
it scooped out the dirty, greasy compound, with the hollow 
of their hands — 'Akil not the least voracious among them. 
He is a genuine barbarian, and never sleeps even beneath 
the frail covering of a tent. In his green aba, which he 
has constantly worn since he joined us, he is ever to be 
found at night, slumbering, not sleeping, near the watch- 
fire — his yataghan by his side — his heavy mounted, wide- 
mouthed pistols beneath his head. Before retiring, the 
Arabs took an impressive leave of us ; for it was evident 
that they anticipated encountering some peril in their 
route along the eastern shore. 

The Arab bard sang nearly the whole night. Stopping 
a little after midnight, he commenced again in less than 
an hour, and at 2 A. M. was giving forth his nasal notes 
and his twanging sounds in most provoking monotony ; 
the discordant croaking of the frog is music in compari- 
son. An occasional scream or yell would be absolute 

At midnight, again heard the bell of the convent of 
Mar Saba. It was a solace to know that, in a place wild 
and solitary in itself, yet not remote from us, there were 
fellow Christians raising their voices in supplication to 
the Great and Good Being, before whom, in different forms, 
but with undivided faith, we bow ourselves in worship. 


Thursday, April 20. Awakened very early by one of 
the Arabs, more pious or more hypocritical than the rest, 
constituting himself a Mueddin,* and calling the rest to 
prayer. But the summons was obeyed by very few. An 
Arab, when he prays, throws his mat anywhere, gene- 
rally, in obedience to the injunctions of the Koran, in the 
most conspicuous place. He puts off his shoes ; stands 
upright; leans forward until his hands rest upon his 
knees ; bends yet farther in prostration, and touches the 
earth with his forehead : he then rises erect, recites a 
sentence from the Koran, and goes through with similar 
genuflections and prostrations. In the intervals of the 
prostrations, he sits back, his knees to the ground, and 
his feet under him, and recites long passages from the 
Koran. Sometimes they are abstracted, but not always ; 
we have seen them, in the intervals between the prostra- 
tions, comb their beards and address others in conversa- 
tion, and afterwards, with great gravity, renew their 

The most extraordinary thing is, that some of the 
Turkish soldiers we have seen, who were seemingly pious 
and really fanatical, did not understand one word of the 
Arabic passages of the Koran they recited with so much 
apparent devotion. 

Except those who accompanied us from Acre, we have 
not seen a single Muslim with beads : — there, as well as 
at Beirut, Smyrna and Constantinople, every one we met, 
from the Pasha down, had them in his hands, apparently 
as playthings only. 

The morning was pleasant; a light breeze from the 
southward; temperature of the air, 82°. After taking 
double altitudes, sent Mr. Dale and Mr. Aulick in the 
boats to sound diagonally and directly across to the 

* In Turkish, Muezzin. 


eastern shore. They started at 10.30; the wind had died 
away ; the sea was as smooth as a mirror towards either 
shore, but slightly ruffled in the middle, where there 
seemed to be a current setting to the southward. Ther- 
mometer, 89° in the tent, our only shelter, for the sun 
shone fiercely into every crevice of the mountain behind 
us. Employed in making arrangements for the removal 
of the camp farther south to-morrow. 

P. M. A short distance from the camp, saw a large 
brown or stone-coloured hare, and started a partridge ; 
heard another in the cliffs above, and a small bird twit- 
tering in the cane-brake beneath me. We discovered that 
these shores can furnish food for beasts of prey. Found 
some of the sea-side brache, supposed to be alluded to in 
Job, and translated mallows in the English version. Also 
the sida Asiatica. 

At 5 P. M., temperature 80° ; as the day declined, the 
wind sprang up and blew freshly from the north, and I 
began to feel apprehensive for the boats. Towards sun- 
set, walked along the base of the mountains to the south- 
ward to look for, but could see nothing of them. Started 
a snipe, and saw, but could not catch, a beautiful butter- 
fly, chequered white and brown. To-day a duck was seen 
upon the water, about a mile from the shore ; — his home, 
doubtless, among the sedges of the brackish stream. 

Soon after sunset, some Arabs of the tribe Kashayideh 
came into camp, and proffered their services as guides 
along the western coast, and guards to our effects while 
absent in the boats. They were the most meagre, forlorn, 
and ragged creatures I had ever seen. The habiliments 
of Falstaff's recruits would have been a court costume 
compared to the attire of these attenuated wretches, 
whose swarthy skins, in all directions, peered forth 
through the filthy rags, which hung in shreds and patches, 
rather betraying than concealing their nudity. 


Some of them would have answered as guides ; but it 
would not do to employ them in any other capacity. 
Their abject poverty would tempt them to steal, and their 
physical weakness prevent them, even if they were cou- 
rageous, from defending our property. Since the battle 
of Cressy, history does not tell of lean and hungry men 
having ever proved valiant. 

As night closed in, we lighted fires along the beach and 
around the camp as guiding signals to the boats. 

At 8 P. M., went down to the beach and looked long 
and anxiously but could see nothing of them, although a 
dark object could have been discerned at a great distance, 
for the surface of the sea was one wide sheet of phospho- 
rescent foam, and the waves, as they broke upon the 
shore, threw a sepulchral light upon the dead bushes and 
scattered fragments of rock. Returned to the camp and 
placed every one on guard, for all our men but one being 
absent in the boats, our weakness, if coupled with want 
of vigilance, might invite an attack from the strange 
Arabs, who, we knew, were upon the cliffs above. 

At 9.30, the Fanny Mason, and at 10.45, the Fanny 
Skinner, returned. They had been retarded by the fresh 
wind and corresponding heavy swell of the sea. The 
distance in a straight line from this to the Arabian shore 
measured seven nautical, or nearly eight statute miles. 
The soundings directly across from this place gave 116 
fathoms, or 696 feet, as the greatest depth — ninety 
fathoms, 540 feet, within a fourth of a mile from the Ara- 
bian shore. Mr. Aulick reports a volcanic formation on 
the east shore, and brought specimens of lava. Another 
line of soundings running diagonally across to the S. E. 
Mr. Dale reports a level plain at the bottom of the sea, 
extending nearly to each shore, with an average depth 
of 170 fathoms, 1020 feet, all across. The bottom, blue 
mud and sand, and a number of rectangular crystals of 


salt, some of them perfect cubes. One cast brought up 
crystals only. Laid them by for careful preservation. 

The diagonal line of soundings was run from this place 
to a black chasm in the opposite mountains. The sound- 
ings deepened gradually to twenty-eight fathoms a short 
distance from the shore ; the next cast was 137, and the 
third 170 fathoms, and the lead brought up, as mentioned, 
clear cubical crystals of salt. The casts were taken about 
every half mile, and the deep soundings were carried 
close to the Arabian shore. It was a tedious operation ; 
the sun shone with midsummer fierceness, and the water, 
greasy to the touch, made the men's hands smart and 
burn severely. 

In the chasm they found a sweet and thermal stream, 
coming from above and emptying into the sea. It is, 
doubtless, the " Zurka Main," the outlet of the hot springs 
of Callirohoe. We trust to give it a thorough exami- 

By dark the sea had rolled up dangerously, and the 
boats took in much water, the crests of the waves curling 
over their sides. It was a dreadful pull for the men, and 
when they arrived their clothes were stiffened with in- 

The Rashayideh were grouped in a circle a short dis- 
tance from our tents. In their ragged brown abas, lying 
motionless, and apparently in profound slumber, they 
looked by moonlight like so many fragments of rock, and 
reminded one of the grey geese around the hut of Cannie 
Elshie, the recluse of Mucklestane Muir. They were not 
all asleep, however, for when I approached, one instantly 
arose and greeted me. Retired to rest at 1 A. M., the 
sea brawling and breaking upon the shore. 




Friday, April 21. Allowed all hands to sleep late this 
morning, in consequence of the great fatigue of yesterday. 
The sun rose at 5.29, a light wind from the westward. 

A. M., busied in preparation for moving to the south- 
ward. The sea was smooth and weather clear, and after 
sunrise it became quite warm. Lofty arid mountains on 
both sides ; a low flat shore to the northward and to the 
southward ; the south-eastern and the south-western 
shores converging, with only water visible between them. 
In that direction, a light veil of mist was drawn above 
the sea. 

At 11, broke up camp, and commenced moving every 
thing to the boats, excepting a load for the only remain- 
ing camel, to be conveyed along the shore. The Rasha- 
yideh were very active in the labour of transportation 
from the camp to the boats. Their astonishing brevity 
of shirt, and lack of all other covering, save a dirty and 
faded koofeeyeh, rendered them peculiarly interesting to 
the anatomist. Several of them wore sandals, a rude 
invention to protect the feet. It was a thick piece of 
hide, confined by a thong passing under the sole, at the 
hollow of the foot, around the heel, and between the 
great toe and the one which adjoins it. 

Our baggage seemed too heavy for the boats, but it was 
necessary to make the attempt to get away. Our Jordan 
water was nearly expended, and that of the fountain was 
not only exceedingly unpalatable, but I feared unwhole- 



some also. If it came on to blow, we would have to 
beach the boats to save them. 

At 11.42, started j. alight breeze from the southward 
and westward ; the sea slightly ruffled. Steered S. h E., 
along the shore by Eas el Feshkhah. The ras (cape) 
about 200 yards distant from the shore ; between it and 
our late camping-place is a low, narrow plain, skirted with 
cane. The precipitous limestone mountain towering a 
thousand feet above it. 

At 1.15 P. M., passed Wady Mahras, or Kavine of the 
Guard. It was dry, with a solitary ghurrah-tree at its 
mouth, larger than any we had seen upon these shores. 
It was about the size of a half-grown apple-tree. 

Half a mile beyond is the Wady en Nar (Ravine of Fire), 
which is the bed of the brook Kidron. The head of that 
ravine is the valley of Jehoshaphat, under the eastern wall 
of Jerusalem. Midway down the ravine, the convent of 
Mar Saba is situated. Between the outlets of the two 
ravines of Mahras and En Nar, the debris of the moun- 
tains has formed a plain, or delta, sloping to the south- 
east, and rounding again to the southward. 

At 1.36, stopped to examine where the Kidron empties 
into the sea, in the rainy season. The bed, much worn 
and filled with confused fragments of rock, was perfectly 
dry. It is a deep gorge, narrow at the base, and yawning 
wide at the summit, which was 1200 feet above us. 

The peak of Mukulla, immediately north of this ravine, 
was the loftiest of the range we had thus far seen on the 
Judean shore ; and presented, even more than the rest, 
the appearance of having been scathed by fire. Its sum- 
mit is less sharp and more rounded, and the rapid disin- 
tegration of its face towards the sea has formed a sloping 
hill of half its height, resembling fine dust and ashes. 

The formation of this mountain, like the rest of the 
range to the north, consists of horizontal strata of lime- 


stone ; the exterior, of an incinerated brown, is so regular in 
its stratification as to present a scarped and fortified aspect. 

The mountain-sides and summits, and the shores of this 
sea, thus far, were almost entirely devoid of vegetation ; 
and the solitary tree, of which I have spoken, alone 
refreshed the eye, while all else within the scope of vision 
was dreary and utter desolation. The curse of God is 
surely upon this unhallowed sea ! 

Picked up fresh-water shells in the torrenf>bed, and 
fragments of flesh-coloured flint upon the sea shore, and 
gathered some specimens of rock. 

At 2.12, started again; scarce any wind; weather 
warm but not oppressive; the sky somewhat clouded 
with cumuli ; the course, S. I W. The curve of the shore 
forms a bay between the delta we have just left, and a 
point bearing S. S. E. 

At 3 P. M., abreast of the high cliff Hathurah, and the 
Wady Sudeir, immediately north of it. 3.15, under the 
mouth of a large cave, which was two-thirds up the cliff. 
The delta, which had narrowed since leaving the bed of 
the Kidron, began to spread out again from the mountains 
towards the sea. 

3.25, abreast of Wady Ghuweir, which presented a sin- 
gular appearance on its summits ; the northern one resem- 
bling a watch-tower, and the southern one a castle. 

3.30, low land visible to the southward; a fire on the 
eastern shore. The face and sides of this ravine are cut 
into terraces by the action of the winter rains. 

Narrow strips of canes and tamarisks immediately at 
the foot of the cliff, — a luxuriant line of green ; save the 
solitary ghurrah-tree, the only thing we have seen to 
cheer the eye since leaving the tawny cane-brake of Ain 
el Feshkhah. A beach of coarse, dark gravel below, and 
barren, brown mountains above, throughout the whole 
intervening space. 


At 4.15, half a mile from the shore, threw over the 
drag in ten fathoms water. It brought up nothing but 

4.30, a perfect calm. The clouds hung motionless in 
the still air, and their shadows chequered the rugged sur- 
face of the mountains of Arabia. It was the grandeur 
of desolation; no being seen — ail sound unheard — we 
were in the midst of a profound and awful solitude. 

4.41, approaching Ain Turabeh. On a point stretching 
out into the sea are a few ghurrah-trees and some tama- 
risk-bushes, and tufts of cane and grass, which alone 
relieved the dreary scene ; all besides are brown, incine- 
rated hills, masses of conglomerate, banks of sand and 
dust, impalpable as ashes, and innumerable boulders, 
bleached by long exposure to the sun. 

4.43, rounded the point, which was low and gravelly, 
with some drift-wood upon it; rowed by a small but 
luxuriant cane-brake, and camped a short distance from 
the fountain. 

The clear, shelving beach, the numerous tamarisk and 
ghurrah-trees, and the deep green of the luxuriant cane, 
rendered this, by contrast, a delightful spot. 

The indentation of the coast formed here a perfect 
little bay; and the water of the fountain, although 
warm, is pure and sweet. Its temperature, 75°. It 
rather trickles than gushes from the north side of the 
bay, within ten paces of the sea. 

We found here a pistachia* in full bloom, but its 
pretty white and pink flowers yielded no fragrance. In 
the stream of the little fountain were several lily-stalks, 
and the sand was discoloured with a sulphureous deposit, 

* Pistachia Terebinthus ; the terebinth of Scripture. It is here a dwarf, 
but is said to grow larger on the plains, ft was under the shade of a 
terebinth-tree that Abraham pitched his tent at Mamre. The Arabs call it 
" butm." 


as at Ain el Feshkhah. The Arabs formed a number of 
pools around by scooping out the sand and gravel with 
their hands. They brought us a species of large pea, 
growing each in a separate pod, a number of them clus- 
tering on a low, shrub-like plant. It is a product of cul- 
tivation, and must have come from beyond the desert of 
Judea, which stretches westward, from the cliffs above, 
nearly to the meridian of Hebron and Bethlehem, and 
much farther south than the first. The shell of the pea is 
coated with a furze, which resembles the down of the ice- 
plant when the dew is upon it, and is salt and bitter to 
the taste, — hence its name, "hamoos" (sour); when 
dipped in fresh water, the unpleasant taste is removed. 
The pea itself is like our large marrow-fat pea, but not so 

An Arab brought us some dhom apples, the fruit of 
the nubk, or spina Christi. They were then withered, 
and presented the appearance of a small, dried crab-apple. 
It had a stone like the cherry ; but the stone was larger, 
and there was less fruit on it in proportion to its size. 
It was sub-acid, and to us quite palatable ; and, reclined 
upon the shelving beach of pebbles, we took off the edge 
of appetite while our cook was preparing the second and 
last meal of the day. 

The plants we found here, besides the lily, were the 
yellow henbane, with narcotic properties; the nightshade 
(anit et dil), or wolf-grape, supposed, by Hasselquist, to 
be the wild grape alluded to in Isaiah ; the lamb's quar- 
ter, used in the manufacture of barilla ; and a species of 
kale (salicornea Europea) . This plant is found wherever 
salt water or saline formations occur. It was here upon 
the shore of the Dead Sea, and Fremont saw it on the 
borders of the Great Salt Lake, west of the Mississippi. 
Besides the single pistachia tree, there were a great many 
tamarisks, now also in blossom ; the flowers small and of 


a dull white colour : the wood of the tree makes excellent 
charcoal, and, in the season, the branches bear galls 
almost as acrid as the oak. 

The pebbles on the beach, to-day, were agglutinated 
with salt, and the stones in the torrent-beds were coated 
with saline incrustations. 

At 6.10, one of the party shot at a duck, a short dis- 
tance from the shore ; — dark-grey body, and black head 
and wings. This was fully twelve miles from the Jordan. 
The bird, when fired at, flew but a short distance out to 
sea, where it alighted and again directed its course to- 
wards the shore. We therefore inferred that its haunt 
was among the sedges of the little fountain. At sunset, 
the temperature was 70° ; light and variable airs. 

Soon after us the camel arrived ; and an Arab brought 
a huge fish, of the cat-fish species, from the Jordan. 

It was a strange scene, to-night. The tents among the 
tamarisks, the Arab watch-fires, the dark mountains in 
the rear, the planets and the stars above them, and the 
boats drawn up on the shore. The night was serene and 
beautiful ; the moon, now beginning to wane, shone on a 
placid sea, upon which there was not the slightest ripple. 
The profound stillness was undisturbed by the faintest 
sound, except the tread of our sentinels. 

Saturday, April 22d. Awakened early, with the intelli- 
gence that Dr. Anderson had arrived at Ain el Feshkhah, 
with the provisions, Sherif having neglected to apprise 
him of our contemplated movement. Sent his tent and 
some of our Arabs to escort him to Ain Jidy, yet farther 
south upon this shore. 

Early in the morning it was quite cool. At 6 A. M., 
temperature of the air 70° and very pleasant. Took our 
breakfast beneath some tamarisk trees in bloom, the 
grateful shade enhanced by their delicious fragrance. An 
Arab brought some specimens of sulphur picked up on 


the banks of the Jordan near the sea, most probably 
washed down from the mountains by the river torrents. 
Some flowers were gathered and placed in our herbarium 
for preservation. Our arms, instruments, and everything 
metallic, were bronzed by the saline atmosphere. 

At 7.51 A. M., started for Ain Jidy (fountain of the 
kid) ; wind light from S. E., with a short troubled swell — 
the heavily laden boats rolled unmercifully. A few clouds 
in the north-east ; cumulus stratus ; steered S. by E. to 
clear the point to the southward. 

The point is a projection of a low, flat delta of sand 
and pebbles, like the deposit of a large water-course. 
Two deep wadys in the rear, Wady Ta'amirah and Wady 
Derajeh (ravine of the step) ; the mountains withdrawn 
at their point of junction. 

At 8.20, abreast of the first named ravine, at the head 
of which is Bethlehem. Thus on one side is the sea, the 
record of God's wrath ; on the other the birth-place of the 
Kedeemer of the world. 

From Ain et Turabeh to this place is a range of con- 
glomerate in thin horizontal strata, terminating in a range 
of sand-hills half the height of the burnt-looking moun- 
tains of limestone. The hills run south-east to a point 
with scattering tufts of grass and shrubs to their very 

8.30, Wady Husasah; 8.45, abreast of Wady Shukif; a 
low flat plain here extends half a mile south-easterly to a 
point. The ravine had water in it. 

A thin, haze-like, heated vapour over the southern sea 
— appearance of an island between the two shores. Wind 
gone down; sun intensely hot. 9.35, Wady Muddebbeh 
Said 'Obeideh, a singular oval chasm ; lofty cliffs, light 
and dark brown. 9.40, a light refreshing breeze from 
S. W. 9.45, Rus Mersed, high and rugged. 9.50, passed 
through a line of foam, curved to the north, and coloured 


brown by floating patches of what seemed to be the dust 
of rotten wood. 

At 10.25, hailed by an Arab from the shore, but could 
not understand him. 10.40, passed through a line of 
white foam. Through the mist the peninsula looked like 
an island. 10.42, abreast of wady Mukaddam (ravine of 
the Advanced) ; sand cropping out near the summits on 
each side. At 11, under a high peak of a mountain, the 
escarpment furrowed with innumerable dry water-courses. 
The marks upon the shore indicated that the sea had 
fallen seven feet this season. 

At 11.20, stopped to examine a ruin a short distance 
up the mountain side. It is an old wall of unhewn stones 
without cement. The wall is on the front and two sides ; 
the rear is the mountain side, in the face of which are 
several caves, with apertures cut through the rock to the 
air above, most probably for the escape of smoke. The 
walls were evidently built to defend the entrance of the 
caves long subsequent to their excavation. The caves 
were filled with detritus, lime, and a deposit of salt in 
cubes. They were perfectly dry, without stalactites or 
petrifactions of any kind except the cubes of salt. The 
largest cave could contain twenty or thirty men, and has 
a long, low, narrow gallery running from one side, which 
would be invisible when the sun does not shine through 
the entrance. This is in the wilderness of Engaddi, and 
the fountain is just beyond the next ravine. 

At 11.45, started again, and, at 12.10, stopped at 
Wady Sudeir, below Ain Jidy (Engaddi). Walked up 
the dry torrent bed, and finding no suitable place for 
encampment, directed the boats to be taken half a mile 
farther south, where they were hauled up, and our 
tents pitched near them, immediately in a line with, but 
some distance from where the fountain stream of Ain 
Jidy descends the mountain side and is lost in the plain ; 
25 T 


its course marked by a narrow strip of luxuriant green. 
The Wady Sudeir has water in it some distance up, but 
too remote for our purposes. 

Instead of the fine grassy plain, which, from Dr. Robin- 
son's description, we had anticipated, we found here a 
broad sloping delta at the mouth of dry gorges in the 
mountains. The surface of this plain is dust covered 
with coarse pebbles and minute fragments of stone, mostly 
flint, with here and there a nubk and some osher trees. 
The last were in blossom, but had some of the fruit of 
last year, dry and fragile, hanging upon them, and we 
collected some for preservation. The blossom is a deli- 
cate purple, small, bell-shaped, and growing in large clus- 
ters. The leaf is oblong, about four inches long by three 
wide, thick, smooth, and of a dark green, and except that 
it is smaller, much resembling the caoutchouc. The 
branches are tortuous like the locust, and the light brown 
bark has longitudinal ash-coloured ridges upon it, like 
the sassafras at home. The niibk or lotus tree, the spina 
Christi of Hasselquist, called by the Arabs the dhom tree, 
has small dark-green, oval-shaped, ivy-like leaves. Clus- 
tering thick and irregularly upon the crooked branches, 
are sharp thorns, half an inch in length. The smaller 
branches are very pliant, which, in connexion with the 
ivy-like appearance of the leaves, sustain the legend that 
of them was made the mock crown of the Redeemer. Its 
fruit, as I have before mentioned, is subacid, and of a 
pleasant flavour. 

There were tamarisk trees and much cane in the bed 
of the ravine, besides many pink oleanders. About the 
plain we found the rock-rose, from one of the species of 
which the gum ladanum is procured; also the common 
pink ; the Aleppo senna, which is used in medicine ; the 
common mallow, and the scentless yellow mignonette. 

On the upper part of the plain were terraces, which 


bore marks of former cultivation , perhaps cucumber-beds, 
such as seen by Dr. Robinson and Mr. Smith. They were 
owned by the Ta'amirah, and were destroyed a short 
time before by a tribe of hostile Arabs. We found a few 
small prickly cucumbers, or gerkins, in detached places. 
There were two patches of barley standing, which were 
scarce above the ground, perhaps, at the time of the hos- 
tile incursion. Yet, although it could have been but a 
few weeks since, the grain was nearly ready for the har- 
vest. The whole aspect of the country, these few trees 
and patches of vegetation excepted, was one incinerated 
brown. The mountain, with caverns in its face, towered 
fifteen hundred feet above us ; and one-third up was the 
fountain, in a grove of spina Christi. It was a spot 
familiar to the imaginations of all, — the "Diamond of 
the Desert," in the tales of the crusades. 

Examined the boats for repairs. Found them very 
much battered, and their keels, stems, and stern-posts, 
fractured. Commenced a series of barometrical and ther- 
mometrical observations, and surveyed the ground for a 
base-line. Observed some branches of trees floating, 
about a mile from the shore, towards the north, con- 
firming our impression of an eddy-current. At 6 P. M., 
an Arab brought in a catbird he had killed ; like all the 
other birds, and most of the insects and animals, we had 
seen, it was of a stone colour. 

In the evening, some of the tribe Ta'amirah came in, — 
a little more robust, but scarcely better clad, than the 
Rashayideh. They were warm and hungry, from walk- 
ing a long distance to meet us. They had no food, and I 
directed some cooked rice to be given to them. They 
had seated themselves round the pot, and were greedily 
about to devour it, when one of them suggested that, per- 
haps, pork had been cooked in the same vessel. They 
rose, therefore, in a body, and came to the cook to satisfy 


their scruple. I never saw disappointment more strongly- 
pictured in the human countenance than when told that 
the vessel had often been used for that purpose. Although 
nearly famished, they would not touch the rice, and we 
could give them nothing else. Fearing that our provi- 
sions would fall short, I advised them to return ; not to 
their houses, for they have nothing so stable as to deserve 
the name, but to their migratory tents. 

As in all southern nations of this continent, the prin- 
cipal food of the Arab is rice. Almost all other nations 
extract an intoxicating beverage from the plant, contain- 
ing saccharine matter, which constitutes their principal 
article of nourishment. But the Arab scarcely knows 
what strong drink is, and has no name for wine, the 
original Arabic word for which is now applied to coffee. 

Our Arabs were such pilferers that we were obliged to 
keep a most vigilant watch over everything, except the 
pork, which, being an abomination to the Muslim, was 
left about the camp, in full, confidence that it would be 

At 8.30, there was a light breeze from the south-west — 
no clouds visible — a pale-blue misty appearance over the 
sea. At 9, the wind shifted to the north and blew strong; 
forced to strengthen the tent-stakes and pile stones upon 
the canvass eaves. The moon rose clear. Sea, rough. 
Weather, cool and pleasant; thermometer, 71°. A strong 
smell of sulphuretted hydrogen, which surprised us, as we 
knew of no thermal spring in this vicinity. At midnight, 
sky almost cloudless; thin strata of cirri, extending 
north-east and south-west. Thermometer, 70°. Wind 
ranging from north to north-east, and abating. Sherif 
said that he had often heard of the tyranny of the Franks 
towards each other, but never thought they would have 
sent their countrymen to so desolate a place as this. 
Most of the Arabs, however, suspected that we came for 


gold ; and Dr. Anderson's hammering at the rocks was, 
to them, conclusive proof of this hypothesis. 

We had this afternoon measured a base line of 3350 
feet across the plain, and angled upon all possible points. 
An Arab, with two camels loaded with salt, came from 
the south end of the sea, and was going up this pass to 
Gaza. Commerce extends even here, although her bur- 
nished keels have never ploughed this dreary sea. 

Our water was brought the distance of a mile by the 
Arabs. There were about fifty of them around the camp, 
and we could not persuade them to go away. They were 
of the Raschayideh and Ta'amirah tribes — mere bundles 
of rags, very poor, and, so far, perfectly inoffensive. Some 
of them kissed our hands, and, pointing to their miserable 
garments, by comprehensible gestures solicited charity. 

Our bread and rice falling short, and being uncertain 
about the arrival of provisions from Jerusalem, I this day 
sent some Arabs to Hebron for flour. Would that we 
could have gone there, too, and visited the cave of Mac- 
pelah, near Mamre ! 

One of my greatest anxieties was the difficulty of pro- 
curing provisions. Should our train, coming from Jeru- 
salem under charge of Dr. Anderson and the Sherif, be 
plundered on its way, and the emissary to Hebron procure 
but a small supply, we should have been in a starving condi- 
tion. I would have also sent either Mr. Dale or Mr. Aulick 
to Jerusalem, but that their presence was absolutely ne- 
cessary. To sound the sea, take topographical sketches 
of its shores, and make astronomical and barometrical 
observations, gave full occupation to every one. This 
was to be our depot ; here we were to leave our tents, 
and everything we could dispense with. It would be 
our home while upon this sea, and, in honour of the 
greatest man the world has yet produced, I named it 
"Camp Washington." 


April 23, Easter Sunday. Deferred all work that we 
could possibly set aside, until to-morrow. At 6 A. M., 
weather pleasant — thermometer standing at 70° in the 
tent. At 7, 84° ; 7.30, 85° ; the two extremities of the sea 
misty, with constant evaporation ; sky cloudless, a light 
breeze from the north ; the heat so oppressive in the tent, 
that we breakfasted " al fresco." A. M. Walking along 
the beach, saw a hawk, and shortly after some doves, near 
the tent, all of the same colour as the mountains and the 
shore. Each day, in the forenoon, the wind had pre- 
vailed from the southward, and in the afternoon, until 
about midnight, from the northward ; the last wind quite 
fresh, and accompanied with a smell of sulphur. After 
midnight, it generally fell calm. Although the nights 
were mostly cloudless, there was scarcely any deposit of 
dew, the ground remaining heated through the night from 
the intensity of the solar rays during the day. 

Four young wild boars were brought in by an Arab ; 
they escaped from him and ran to the sea, but were caught, 
and, because we would not buy them, they were killed. 

Nearly out of provisions, and, anxiously looking for Dr. 
Anderson and the Sherif, we gladly hailed their appear- 
ance shortly after noon, creeping like mites along the 
lofty crags descending to this deep chasm. Some of our 
party had discovered in the face of the precipice, near the 
fountain, several apertures, one of them arched and faced 
with stone. There was no perceptible access to the 
caverns, which were once, perhaps, the abodes of the 
Essenes. Our sailors could not get to them ; and where 
they fail, none but monkeys can succeed. There must 
have been terraced pathways formerly cut in the face of 
the rock, which have been worn away by winter torrents. 

Although we saw the Doctor and Sherif shortly after 
noon, they did not reach the camp until 3.30, P. M. The 
provisions they brought were very acceptable. With 


them, came four Turkish soldiers, to guard our camp 
while we should be absent. 

P. M. We again noticed a current, setting to the north- 
ward along the shore, and one farther out, setting to the 
southward. The last was no doubt the impetus given by 
the Jordan, and the former its eddy, deflected by Usdum 
and the southern shore of the sea. 

Arranged with Sherif that he should remain here, in 
charge of our camp. 

The scene at sunset was magnificent; — the wild, mighty 
cliffs above us, the dull, dead sea, and the shadows climb- 
ing up the eastern mountains. And there was Kerak, 
castled upon the loftiest summit of the range. We never 
looked upon it but we deplored the folly and rapacity of 
the "Lord of Kerak," which lost to Christendom the 
guardianship of the Holy Sepulchre. 

We all felt a great oppression about the head, and much 
drowsiness, particularly during the heat of the day. In 
the evening, it was calm and sultry. 

At night we visited Sherif. A number of Arabs were 
gathered in front of the tent, and they gave us a dance. 
Ten or twelve of them were drawn up in a line, curved a 
little inwards, and one of them stood in front, with a naked 
sword. A mass of filthy rags, with black heads above and 
spindle legs below ! Clapping their hands, and chanting a 
low, monotonous song, bowing and bending, and swinging 
their bodies from side to side, they followed the motions of 
the one in front. In a short time, one of them commenced 
chanting extempore, and the others repeated the words 
with monotonous cadence ; he with the sword waving it 
to and fro in every direction, and keeping time and 
movement with the rest. Their song referred to us. 
"Mr. Dale was strong and rode a horse well." "Kobtan, 
(the captain) made much work for Arabs, with his 
head." The dance was interrupted by an old man sud- 


denly darting into the circle, and, bare-footed, with his 
aba gathered in his hands behind him, went jumping, 
hopping, crouching, and keeping time to the strange 
sounds of the others. The grotesque movements, the 
low monotonous tones, and the seeming ill-timed levity 
of the old Arab, gave to the whole affair the appearance 
of a wild coronach, disturbed by the antics of a mounte- 
bank. In the swaying of the body and clapping of the 
hands, some of us detected a resemblance to the war- 
dance of the South Sea Islanders. 

A calm, sultry night. At this hour, last night (11 
o'clock), it blew a fresh breeze from the north. In the 
mid-watch there was a bright meteor from the zenith, 
towards the north-east. The same sulphureous smell, but 
less unpleasant than when the wind blew fresh. Moly- 
neaux detected the same odour the night he spent upon 
the sea, whence he thought it proceeded. We have 
been twice upon the sea when the spray was driven in 
our faces ; but although the water was greasy, acrid, and 
disagreeable, it was perfectly inodorous. I am therefore 
inclined to attribute the noxious smell to the foetid springs 
and marshes along the shores of the sea, increased, per- 
haps, by exhalations from stagnant pools in the flat plain 
which bounds it to the north. 

Monday, April 24. Called all hands at 4.45 A. M. ; 
light wind from the north ; clouds, cirrus-stratus, in the 
south and east ; temperature, 78°. Wrote a note to Mr. 
Finn, H. B. M. consul at Jerusalem, respecting provisions. 
This gentleman had been exceedingly kind and attentive. 
He had received our money on deposit, and paid my 
drafts upon him. By this means we kept but little 
money on hand, and avoided presenting a great tempta- 
tion to the Arabs. 

At 6, breakfasted luxuriously on fresh bread, brought, 
by the Doctor, from Jerusalem. The latter reported 


Hugh Reid (seaman), one of the crew of the Fanny Skin- 
ner, as unable to work at the oar. Determined to leave 
him in the camp, his affection being a chronic one, unin- 
fluenced by the climate. 

At 6.38, started with Dr. Anderson, in the Fanny Ma- 
son, for the peninsula, which had so long loomed, like 
Cape Flyaway, in the distance. Directed Mr. Aulick to 
pull directly across to Wady Mojib (the River Arnon of 
the Old Testament), and sound as he proceeded. 

I left Mr. Dale and the rest of the party to make obser- 
vations for determining the position of the camp, and 
measure angles for each end of the base-line. We steered, 
in the Fanny Mason, a south-east course, directly for the 
north end of the peninsula, sounding at short intervals. 
The first cast, near the shore, brought up slimy mud, but 
further out, a light-coloured mud, and many perfectly 
well formed cubic crystals of salt. These, as well as 
the mud, were carefully put up in air-tight vessels; 
greatest depth, 137 fathoms. One of the deepest casts, 
the cup to Stelwagon's lead brought up a blade of grass, 
faded in colour, but of as firm a texture as any plucked 
on the margin of a brook. It must have been washed 
down by one of the fresh-water streams, in connection 
with a heavier substance. 

About midway across picked up a dead bird, which 
was floating upon the water ; we recognised it as a small 
quail. At 11, reached the peninsula ; the sun intensely 
hot. It is a bold, broad promontory, from forty to sixty 
feet high, with a sharp angular central ridge some twenty 
feet above it, and a broad margin of sand at its foot, in- 
crusted with salt and bitumen; the perpendicular face 
extending all round and presenting the coarse and chalky 
appearance of recent carbonate of lime. There were 
myriads of dead locusts strewed upon the beach near 
the margin of the sea. The summit of the peninsula is 


irregular and rugged; in some places showing the tent- 
shape formation, in others, a series of disjointed crags. 
On the western side, the high peninsula with its broad 
margin extends to the southward until it is lost in the 
misty sea. 

Dr. Anderson describes the peninsula as a loose, calca- 
reous marl, with incrustations of salt and indications of 
sulphur, nitre, gypsum, marly clays, &c. ; and the northern 
extremity, which he estimates one-third higher than I do, 
as chalky, with flints ; the texture soft and crumbling. 

There were a few bushes, their stems partly buried in 
the water, and their leafless branches incrusted with salt, 
which sparkled as trees do at home when the sun shines 
upon them after a heavy sleet. Such an image, presented 
to the mind, while the frame was weltering with the heat, 
was indeed like " holding a fire in the hand and thinking 
of the frosty Caucasus." Near the immediate base of the 
cliffs was a line of drifVwood deposited by the sea at its 
full. Save the standing and prostrate dead trees, there 
was not a vestige of vegetation. The mind cannot con- 
ceive a more dreary scene, or an atmosphere more stifling 
and oppressive. The reverberation of heat and light from 
the chalk-like hills and the salt beach was almost insup- 

Walking up the beach we saw the tracks of a hyena, 
and another animal which we did not recognise, and soon 
after the naked footprints of a man. To the eastward 
of the point is a deep bay indenting the peninsula from 
the north. We followed up an arched passage worn in 
the bank, and cutting steps in the salt on each side of the 
upper part, crawled through a large hole worn by the 
rains, and clambered up the steep side of the ridge to 
gain a view from the top. It presented a surface of sharp 
and angular points, light coloured, bare of vegetation, and 
blinding to the eye. We here collected many crystals of 


carbonate of lime. During our absence, the sailors had 
endeavoured to make a fire of the drift-wood as a signal 
to the camp, but it was so impregnated with salt that it 
would not burn. 

At IP. M., started on our return, steering directly 
across to measure the width of the strait between the pe- 
ninsula and the western shore. There was little wind, 
the same faint sulphureous smell, and every one struggling 
against a sensation of drowsiness. Arrived at the camp 
a little before 6 P. M., in a dead calm, very much wearied, 
temperature 92°. As we landed an Arab ran up, and 
gathering an armful of barley in the straw, threw it on 
the fire, and then husking the grain by rubbing it in his 
hands, brought it to me ; and by gesture invited me to eat ; 
it was excellent. The Fanny Skinner arrived shortly 
after. Mr. Aulick had sounded directly across, and found 
the width of the sea by patent log to be a little more than 
eight geographical, or about nine statute miles; the 
greatest depth 188 fathoms, 1128 feet. He landed at the 
mouth of the " Arnon ;" — a considerable stream of water, 
clear, fresh, and moderately cool, flowing between banks 
of red sandstone. In it some small fish were seen. 

On our first arrival here, I had despatched a messenger 
to the tribes along the southern coast to procure guides. 
This afternoon he returned with the information that 
they had been driven away, and that the country was in- 
habited only by robbers. Sherif was earnest in the advice 
to proceed no farther south ; but we could not leave our 
work unaccomplished. A sheikh of the Ta'amirah agreed 
to walk along the coast in sight of the boats. We wished 
to visit the ruins of Sebbeh on our route southward, and 
prepared for several days' absence. At night a fresh 
breeze sprang up from the northward and eastward. 
There were several large fires on the peninsula. Secured 
a partridge and several insects for our collection; and 


there was also gathered a specimen of every variety of 
flower for our herbarium. In the evening our Arabs had 
another entertainment. An improvisatore in Arabic poe- 
try was engaged until a late hour reciting warlike narra- 
tives in verse for the amusement of Sherif — some from 
Antar, the celebrated poet of Arabia ; others, unpremedi- 
tated, in praise of Ibrahim Pasha. At the end of each 
couplet, some one of the audience pronounced the final 
rhyming word after him. This was more endurable than 
the one-stringed rebabeh, and less stupid than the dance 
of last evening. In the night, killed a tarantula and a 

Oppressively sultry. A foetid, sulphureous odour in the 
night ; felt quite sick. At daybreak, a fine invigorating 
breeze from the north ; air over the sea very misty. Did 
not rouse the camp until 6.30, for the night had been 
oppressive. The Arabs becoming too numerous in the 
camp, I sent all away, except a few to bring water to 
Sherif, and some to accompany us to show where water 
could be found along the shore. 



Tuesday, April 25. Completed a set of observations, 
bundled up the mess things, and started, at 9.40, for a 
reconnoissance of the southern part of the sea; leaving 
Sherif in charge of the camp, with Eead and the four 
Turkish soldiers. Steered about south, from point to 
point, keeping near the Arabs along the shore, for their 
'protection ; for they dreaded an attack from marauding 
parties. Threw the patent log overboard ; the weather 
fair but exceedingly hot ; thermometer, 89° ; little air 
stirring ; no clouds visible ; the mountains, as we passed, 
seemed terraced, but the culture was that of desolation. 

At 11.05, the patent log had marked 21 knots; depth, six 
feet ; bottom, soft brown mud ; made for a current ripple, 
a little farther out, coloured with decomposed wood, mem- 
branes of leaves, chaff, &c. ; depth, thirteen fathoms ; hard 
bottom; resumed the course along the shore. At 12.30, 
abreast of a ravine, or wady, not down on the maps, with 
a broad, flat delta before it. These ravines all have 
names, among the Arabs; but the deltas, or projecting 
plains, are undesignated. The limestone strata of the 
mountain above it were horizontal. There was a line of 
verdure up the ravine, indicating the presence of water. 
The log had measured 6i nautical miles from Ain Jidy : 
soundings, a musket-shot distance from the shore, one 
fathom ; bottom, white sand and very fine gravel. At 
12.40, soundings one fathom; north end of the penin- 
26 (301) 


sula bearing east ; steered towards it, to try for ford ; 
water deepening to 21 fathoms (fifteen feet), pulled into 
the shore-line again. A small, beautiful bird, with yel- 
low breast, flew along the shore. Occasionally sounded 
out to 2i fathoms, one mile from shore, to look for ford. 
At 1.58, abreast of Wady Seyal Sebbeh (ravine of Aca- 
cias), supposed to have water in it, very high up, the log 
having marked 81 nautical miles. The cliff above the 
ravine was that of Sebbeh, or Masada. It was a perpen- 
dicular cliff, 1200 to 1500 feet high, with a deep ravine 
breaking down on each side, so as to leave it isolated. 
On the level summit was a line of broken walls, pierced 
in one place with an arch. This fortilace, constructed by 
Herod, and successfully beleaguered by Silva, had a com- 
manding but dreary prospect, overlooking the deep chasm 
of this mysterious sea. Our Arabs could give no other 
account of it than that there were ruins of large buildings 
on the cliff. 

The cliff of Sebbeh is removed some distance from the 
margin of the sea by an intervening delta of sand and 
detritus, of more than two miles in width. A mass of 
scorched and calcined rock, regularly laminated at its 
summit, and isolated from the rugged strip, which skirts 
the western shore, by deep and darkly-shadowed defiles 
and lateral ravines, its aspect from the sea is one of stern 
and solemn grandeur, and seems in harmony with the 
fearful records of the past. 

There was that peculiar purple hue of its weather-worn 
rock, a tint so like that of coagulated blood that it forced 
the mind back upon its early history, and summoned 
images of the fearful immolation of Eleazar and the nine 
hundred and sixty-seven Sicarii, the blood of whose self- 
slaughter seemed to have tinged the indestructible cliff 
for ever. 

At 3.05 P. M. a fine northerly wind blowing; stopped 


to take in our Arabs. They brought a piece of bitumen, 
found on the shore, near Sebbeh, where we had intended 
to camp; but the wind was fair, and there was an 
uncertainty about water. We ascertained that there is 
no ford as laid down in the map of Messrs. Robinson and 
Smith. One of the Arabs said that there was once a ford 
there, but all the others denied it. Passed two ravines 
and the bluff of Rubtat el Jamus (Tying of the Buffalo), 
and at 4.45, stopped for the night in a little cave, imme- 
diately north of Wady Mubughghik, five or six miles 
north of the salt-mountain of Usdum, which looms up, 
isolated, to the south. From Ain Jidy to this place, the 
patent log has measured 13 s nautical miles, which is less 
than the actual distance, the log sometimes not working, 
from the shoalness of the water. 

We had, to-day, paid particular attention to the geolo- 
gical construction of the western shore, with a special 
regard to the disposition of the ancient terraces and abut- 
ments of the tertiary limestone and marls. There may 
be rich ores in these barren rocks. Nature is ever provi- 
dent in her liberality, and when she denies fertility of 
surface, often repays man wdth her embowelled treasures. 
There is scarce a variety of rock that has not been found 
to contain metals ; and it is said that the richness of the 
veins is for the most part independent of the nature of 
the beds they intersect. 

There has been no great variety in the scenery, to-day ; 
the same bold and savage cliffs ; the same broad penin- 
sulas, or deltas, at the mouths of the ravines, — some of 
them sprinkled here and there with vegetation, — all 
evincing the recent or immediate presence of water. 
This part of the coast is claimed by no particular tribe, 
but is common to roaming bands of marauders. 

The beach was bordered with innumerable dead locusts. 
There was also bitumen in occasional lumps, and incrus- 


tations of lime and salt. The bitumen presented a bright, 
smooth surface when fractured, and looked like a consoli- 
dated fluid. The Arabs called it hajar Mousa (Moses' 
stone) . 

Our Arabs insisted upon it that the only ford was at 
the southern extremity of the sea. There were seven of 
them with us, and they were of three tribes, the Kasha- 
yideh, Ta'amirah and Kabeneh. Being beyond the 
limits of their own territories, they were very apprehen- 
sive of an attack from hostile tribes. When, this after- 
noon, under the impression, which proved to be correct, 
that there was water in the ravine, we called to them, 
they came down in all haste, unslinging their guns as 
they ran, in the supposition that we were attacked, — 
evincing, thereby, more spirit than we had anticipated. 
They were very uneasy; and, immediately after our 
arrival, one of them was perched, like a goat, upon a high 
cliff; and the others had bivouacked where they com- 
manded a full view into the mouth of the ravine. 

Our camp was in a little cove, on the north side of the 
delta, which had been formed by the deposition of the 
winter torrents, and extends half a mile out, with a 
rounding point to the eastward. The ravine comes down 
between two high, round-topped mountains, of a dark, 
burnt-brown colour, and a horizontal, terrace-like stratum, 
half-way up. In the plain were several niibk and tama- 
risk trees, and three kinds of shrubs, and some flowers 
which we gathered for preservation. Near the ravine, on 
a slight eminence, we discovered the ruins of a building, 
with square-cut stones, — the foundation-walls alone re- 
maining, and a line of low wall running down to the 
ravine; near it was a rude canal. There were many 
remains of terraces. The low wall was, perhaps, an 
aqueduct for the irrigation of the plain. Here Costigan 
thought that he had found the ruins of Gomorrah. About 


half a mile up, the faces of the ravine cut down perpen- 
dicularly through limestone rock, and turned, at right 
angles, a short distance above, with here and there a few 
bushes in the bottom. We found a little brook purling 
down the ravine, and soon losing itself in the dry plain. 
We were now almost at the southern extremity of the 
sea. The boats having been drawn up on the beach, their 
awnings were made to supply the places of tents, the 
open side facing the ravine ; the blunderbuss at our head, 
and the sentries walking beside it. At 8 P. M., there 
were a few light cumuli in the sky, but no wind. At 
8.30, a hot fresh wind from north-west; thermometer, 
82°; at 9, 86°. Finding it too oppressive under the 
awning, we crawled out upon the open beach, and, with 
our feet nearly at the water's edge, slept "a la belle 
etoile." After the manner of the poor highwayman, we 
slept in our clothes, under arms, and upon the ground. 
It continued very hot during the night, and we could not 
endure even a kerchief over our faces, to screen them 
from the hot and blistering wind. 

This was doubtless a sirocco, but it came from an unu- 
sual quarter. At midnight, the thermometer stood at 
88° ; and at 4, the temperature of the air, 86° ; of the 
water, 80°. Towards daylight, the wind went down, and 
the thermometer fell to 79°. There were several light 
meteors, from the zenith towards the north, seen during 
the night. While the wind lasted, the atmosphere was 
hazy. Notwithstanding the oppressive heat, there was a 
pleasure in our strange sensations, lying in the open air, 
upon the pebbly beach of this desolate and unknown sea, 
perhaps near the sites of Sodom and Gomorrah ; the salt 
mountains of Usdum in close proximity, and nothing but 
bright, familiar stars above us. 

Wednesday, April 26. When I awoke this morning 
there was a young quail at my side, where, in the night, 
26* " u 


it had most probably crept for shelter from the strong, 
hot wind. 

We were up before sunrise ; light variable airs and 
warm weather. At 5.30, started and steered S. I E. in a 
direct line for Kas Hish (cape Thicket), the north point 
of Usdum. At 6.42, fifty yards from the shore, sounded, 
the depth one fathom. Wady Mubiighghik bearing west. 
6.51, soundings one and three-quarter fathoms, grey mud. 
At 7, two fathoms, black, slimy mud. A light wind 
sprang up from S. S. E., a few light cirrus clouds in the 
N. E. The cliffs gradually slope away and terminate in 
Usdum. Sounding every few minutes for the ford ; 
stretching out occasionally from the shore line, and re- 
turning to it again, when the water deepened to two 
fathoms. The Fanny Skinner coasted along the shore to 
sketch the topography, and we kept further out to sound 
for the ford. At 8, abreast of a short, steep, shrubby 
ravine, Muhariwat (the Surrounded) ; a very extensive 
excavation at its mouth. In front of the ravine was a 
beautiful patch of vegetation, extending towards Usdum, 
with intervals of gravel and sand. Many of these ravines 
derive their names from incidents in Arab history. 

At 8.07, stopped to take bearings. Wady Ez Zu weir ah, 
S. W. by W. ; the west end of Usdum, S. by W. ; marshy 
spit, north end of do., S. E. \ E. Usdum is perfectly 
isolated, but has no appearance of being a mass of salt. 
Perhaps, like the peninsula, it is in crusted with carbonate 
of lime, which gives it the tinge of the eastern and western 

At 8.08, water shoaling to two and a half feet, hauled 
off; 8.12, stood in and landed on the extreme point of 
Usdum. Many dead bushes along the shore, which are 
incrusted with salt as at the peninsula. Found it a broad, 
flat, marshy delta, the soil coated with salt and bitumen, 
and yielding to the foot. 



At 8.30, started again and steered E. S. E., sounding 
every five minutes, the depth from one to one and three- 
quarter fathoms ; white and black slime and mud. A 
swallow flew by us. At 8.52, stopped to take compass 
bearings. Seetzen saw this salt mountain in 1806, and 
says that he never before beheld one so torn and riven ; 
but neither Costigan nor Molyneaux, who were in boats, 
came farther south on the sea than the peninsula. With 
regard to this part, therefore, which most probably covers 
the guilty cities, — 

"We are the first 
That ever burst 
Into this silent sea." 

At 9, the water shoaling, hauled more off shore. Soon 
after, to our astonishment, we saw on the eastern side of 
Usdum, one third the distance from its north extreme, a 
lofty, round pillar, standing apparently detached from the 
general mass, at the head of a deep, narrow, and abrupt 
chasm. We immediately pulled in for the shore, and Dr. 
Anderson and I went up and examined it. The beach 
was a soft, slimy mud encrusted with salt, and a short 
distance from the water, covered with saline fragments 
and flakes of bitumen. We found the pillar to be of solid 
salt, capped with carbonate of lime, cylindrical in front 
and pyramidal behind. The upper or rounded part is 
about forty feet high, resting on a kind of oval pedestal, 
from forty to sixty feet above the level of the sea. It 
slightly decreases in size upwards, crumbles at the top, 
and is one entire mass of crystallization. A prop, or but- 
tress, connects it with the mountain behind, and the 
whole is covered with debris of a light stone colour. Its 
peculiar shape is doubtless attributable to the action of 
the winter rains. The Arabs had told us in vague terms 
that there was to be found a pillar somewhere upon the 
shores of the sea ; but their statements in all other 



respects had proved so unsatisfactory, that we could place 
no reliance upon them.* 

At 10.10, returned to the boat with large specimens. 
The shore was soft and very yielding for a great distance; 
the boats could not get within 200 yards of the beach, 
and our foot-prints made on landing, were, when we re- 
turned, incrusted with salt. 

Some of the Arabs, when they came up, brought a species 
of melon they had gathered near the north spit of Usdum. 
It was oblong, ribbed, of a dark green colour, much resem- 
bling a cantelope. When cut, the meat and. seeds bore 
the same resemblance to that fruit, but were excessively 
bitter to the taste. A mouthful of quinine could not 
have been more distasteful, or adhered longer and more 
tenaciously to the reluctant palate. 

Intending to examine the south end of the sea, and 
then proceed over to the eastern shore in the hope of 
finding water, we discharged all our Arabs but one, and 
sharing our small store of water with them, and giving 
them provisions, we started again at 10.30, and steered 

At 10.42, a large black and white bird flew up, and 
lighted again upon the shore. The salt on the face of 

* A similar pillar is mentioned by Josephus, who expresses the belief 
of its being the identical one into which Lot's wife was transformed. 
His words are, " But Lot's wife continually turning back to view the city 
as she went from it, and being too nicely inquisitive what would become 
of it, although God had forbidden her so to do, was changed into a pillar 
of salt, for I have seen it, and it remains at this day." — 1 Josephus* Antiq., 
book 1, chap. 12. 

Clement of Rome, a contemporary of Josephus, also mentions this pillar, 
and likewise Irenaeus, a writer of the second century, who, yet more su- 
perstitious than the other two, adds the hypothesis, how it came to last so 
long with all its members entire. Reyland relates an old tradition that as 
fast as any part of this pillar was washed away, it was supernatural^ 




Usdum appeared in the form of spiculge. At 11.07, came 
to the cave in Usdum described by Dr. Robinson ; kept 
on, to take meridian observation at the extreme south end 
of the sea. 11.28, unable to proceed any further south 
from shallowness of the water, having run into six inches, 
and the boats' keels stirring up the mud. The Fanny 
Skinner having less draught, was able to get a little nearer 
to the shore, but grounded 300 yards off. Mr. Dale landed 
to observe for the latitude. His feet sank first through a 
layer of slimy mud a foot deep, then through a crust of 
salt, and then another foot of mud, before reaching a firm 
bottom. The beach was so hot as to blister the feet. 
]From the water's edge, he made his way with difficulty 
for more than a hundred yards over black mud, coated 
with salt and bitumen. 

Unfortunately, from the great depth of this chasm, and 
the approach of the sun towards the tropic of Cancer, the 
sextant (one of Gambey's best) would not measure the 
altitude with an artificial horizon, and there was not suffi- 
cient natural horizon for the measurement. We therefore 
took magnetic bearings in every direction, which, with 
observations of Polaris, would be equally as correct, but 
more laborious. We particularly noted the geographical 
position of the south end of Usdum, which was now a little 
south of the southern end of the sea. The latter is ever- 
varying, extending south from the increased flow of the 
Jordan and the efflux of the torrents in winter, and 
receding with the rapid evaporation, consequent upon the 
heat of summer. 

In returning to the boat, one of the men attempted to 
carry Mr. Dale to the water, but sunk down, and they 
were obliged separately to flounder through. When they 
could, they ran for it. They describe it as like running 
over burning ashes, — the perspiration starting from every 
pore with the heat. It was a delightful sensation when 


their feet touched the water, even the salt, slimy water 
of the sea, then at the temperature of 88°. 

The southern shore presented a mud-flat, which is ter- 
minated by the high hills bounding the Ghor to the 
southward. A very extensive plain or delta, low and 
marshy towards the sea, but rising gently, and, farther 
back, covered with luxuriant green, is the outlet of Wady 
es Safieh (clear ravine), bearing S. E. by S. Anxious to 
examine it, we coasted along, just keeping the boat afloat, 
the in-shore oars stirring up the mud. The shore was 
full three-fourths of a mile distant, the line of demarca- 
tion scarce perceptible, from the stillness of the water, and 
the smooth, shining surface of the marsh. On the flat 
beyond, were lines of drift-wood, and here and there, in 
the shallow water, branches of dead trees, which, like 
those at the peninsula, were coated with saline incrusta- 
tion. The bottom was so very soft, that it yielded to 
everything, and at each cast the sounding-lead sank deep 
into the mud. Thermometer, 95°. Threw the drag 
over, but it brought up nothing but soft, marshy, light 
coloured mud. 

It was indeed a scene of unmitigated desolation. On 
one side, rugged and worn, was the salt mountain of 
Usdum, with its conspicuous pillar, which reminded us at 
least of the catastrophe of the plain ; on the other were 
the lofty and barren cliffs of Moab, in one of the caves of 
which the fugitive Lot found shelter. To the south was 
an extensive flat intersected by sluggish drains, with the 
high hills of Edom semi-girdling the salt plain where the 
Israelites repeatedly overthrew their enemies ; and to the 
north was the calm and motionless sea, curtained with a 
purple mist, while many fathoms deep in the slimy mud 
beneath it lay embedded the ruins of the ill-fated cities 
of Sodom and Gomorrah. The glare of light was blinding 
to the eye, and the atmosphere difficult of respiration. 


No bird fanned with its wing the attenuated air through 
which the sun poured his scorching rays upon the myste- 
rious element on which we floated, and which, alone, of 
all the works of its Maker, contains no living thing with- 
in it. 

While in full view of the peninsula, I named its north- 
ern extremity " Point Costigan," and its southern one 
" Point Molyneaux," as a tribute to the memories of the 
two gallant Englishmen who lost their lives in attempt- 
ing to explore this sea. 

At 11.42, much frothy scum; picked up a dead bird 
resembling a quail ; sounding every five minutes, depth 
increasing to four feet, bottom a little firmer ; the only 
ford must be about here. 

At 12.21, there was a very loud, reverberating report, 
as of startling thunder, and a cloud of smoke and dust on 
the western shore ; most probably a huge rock falling 
from a high cliff. 

At 2.35 P. M., close in with the eastern shore, but un- 
able to land from the soft bottom and shoalness of the 
water. At 2.50, a light breeze from W. N. W. ; hauled 
to the north towards the base of peninsula. A long, nar- 
row, dry marsh, with a few scrubby bushes, separated the 
water from a range of stupendous hills, 2000 feet high. 
The cliff of En Nuweireh (Little Tiger), lofty and grand, 
towered above us in horizontal strata of brown limestone, 
and beautiful rose-coloured sandstone beneath. Clouds 
in the east, nimbus, seemed to be threatening a gust. At 
3.30, steered N. N. E. along a low marshy flat, in shallow 
water. The light wind had subsided, and it was oppres- 
sively hot; air 97°; water twelve inches below the sur- 
face 90°. A thin purple haze over the mountains, in- 
creasing every moment, and presenting a most singular 
and awful appearance ; the haze so thin that it was trans- 
parent, and rather a blush than a distinct colour. I 


apprehended a thunder-gust or an earthquake, and took 
in the sail. At 3.50, a hot, blistering hurricane struck 
us from the south-east, and for some moments we feared 
being driven out to sea. The thermometer rose immedi- 
ately to 102°. The men, closing their eyes to shield them 
from the fiery blast, were obliged to pull with all their 
might to stem the rising waves, and at 4.30, physically 
exhausted, but with grateful hearts, we gained the shore. 
My own eye-lids were blistered by the hot wind, being 
unable to protect them, from the necessity of steering the 

We landed on the south side of the peninsula, near 
Wady Humeir, the most desolate spot upon which we 
had yet encamped. Some went up the ravine to escape 
from the stifling wind ; others, driven back by the glare, 
returned to the boats and crouched under the awnings. 
One mounted spectacles to protect his eyes, but the metal 
became so heated that he was obliged to remove them. 
Our arms and the buttons on our coats became almost 
burning to the touch ; and the inner folds of our garments 
were cooler than those exposed to the immediate contact 
of the wind. We bivouacked without tents, on a dry 
marsh, a few dead bushes around us, and some of the 
thorny niibk, and a tree bearing a red berry a short dis- 
tance inland, with low canes on the margin of the sea. 
A short distance to the N. E., on the peninsula, we found 
fragments of an immense and very old mill-stone. The 
mill had, doubtless, been turned by a canal from the 
ravine, down which the water must flow copiously in the 
rainy season. 

At 5, finding the heat intolerable, we walked up the 
dry torrent bed in search of water. Found two successive 
pools rather than a stream, with some minnows in them ; 
the water, not yet stagnant, flowing from the upper to 
the lower pool. There were some succulent plants on 


their margins, and fern roots, and a few bushes around 
them. There were huge boulders of sandstone in the 
bed of the ravine ; a dead palm-tree near the largest pool, 
a living one in a cleft of the rock at the head of the gorge ; 
and high up, to the summits of the beetling cliffs, the 
sandstone lay in horizontal strata, with perpendicular 
cleavage, and limestone above, its light brown colour 
richly contrasting with the deep red below. 

The sandstone below limestone here, and limestone 
without sandstone on the opposite shore, would seem to 
indicate a geological fault. 

Washed and bathed in one of the pools, but the relief 
was only momentary. In one instant after leaving the 
water, the moisture on the surface evaporated, and left 
the skin dry, parched, and stiff. Except the minnows in 
the pool, there was not a living thing stirring ; but the 
hot wind swept moaning through the branches of the 
withered palm-tree,* and every bird and insect, if any 
there were, had sought shelter under the rocks. 

Coming out from the ravine, the sight was a singular 
one. The wind had increased to a tempest ; the two ex- 
tremities and the western shore of the sea were curtained 
by a mist, on this side of a purple hue, on the other a 
yellow tinge ; and the red and rayless sun, in the bronzed 
clouds, had the appearance it presents when looked upon 
through smoked glass. Thus may the heavens have ap- 
peared just before the Almighty in his wrath rained down 
fire upon the cities of the plain. Behind were the rugged 
crags of the mountains of Moab, the land of incest, envel- 
oped in a cloud of dust, swept by the simoom from the 
great desert of Arabia. 

There was a smoke on the peninsula, a little to the 
north of us. We knew not whether those who made it 

*The date-palm. 



might prove friends or foes; and therefore that little 
smoke was not to be disregarded. We had brought one 
of the Ta'amirah with us, for the express purpose of com- 
municating with the natives, but he was so fearful of 
their hostility that I could not prevail on him to bear a 
message to them. With his back to the wind, and his 
eyes fixed on the streaming smoke, he had squatted him- 
self down a short distance from us. He thought that we 
would be attacked in the night ; I felt sure that we would 
not, if we were vigilant. These people never attack each 
other but at advantage, and fifteen well-armed Franks 
can, in that region, bid defiance to anything but surprise. 

We have not seen an instance of deformity among the 
Arab tribes. This man was magnificently formed, and 
when he walked it was with the port and presence of a 
king. It has been remarked that races with highly 
coloured skins are rarely deformed; and the exemption is 
attributed, perhaps erroneously, not to a mode of life dif- 
fering from that of a civilized one, but to hereditary 

The sky grew more angry as the day declined ; — 

" The setting orb in crimson seems to mourn, 
Denouncing greater woes at his return, 
And adds new horrors to the present doom 
By certain fear of evils yet to come." 

The heat rather increased than lessened after the sun 
went down. At 8 P. M., the thermometer was 106° five 
feet from the ground. At one foot from the latter it was 
104°. We threw ourselves upon the parched, cracked 
earth, among dry stalks and canes, which would before 
have seemed insupportable from the heat. Some endea- 
voured to make a screen of one of the boats' awnings, but 
the fierce wind swept it over in an instant. It Was more 
like the blast of a furnace than living air. At our feet 
was the sea, and on our right, through the thicket, we 

A. T A' A MIR AH, 



could distinguish the gleaming of the fires and hear the 
shouts from an Arab encampment. 

In the early part of the night, there was scarce a mo- 
ment that some one was not at the water-breakers ; but 
the parching thirst could not be allayed, for, although 
there was no perceptible perspiration, the fluid was car- 
ried off as fast as it was received into the system. At 9, 
the breakers were exhausted, and our last waking thought 
was water. In our disturbed and feverish slumbers, we 
fancied the cool beverage purling down our parched and 
burning throats. The mosquitoes, as if their stings were 
envenomed by the heat, tormented us almost to madness, 
and we spent a miserable night, throughout which we 
were compelled to lie encumbered with our arms, while, 
by turns, we kept vigilant watch. 

We had spent the day in the glare of a Syrian sun, by 
the salt mountain of Usdum, in the hot blast of the 
sirocco, and were now bivouacked under the calcined 
cliffs of Moab. When the water was exhausted, all too 
weary to go for more, even if there were no danger of a 
surprise, we threw ourselves upon the ground, — eyes 
smarting, skin burning, lips, and tongue, and throat 
parched and dry ; and wrapped the first garment we could 
find around our heads to keep off the stifling blast ; and, in 
our brief and broken slumbers, drank from ideal fountains. 

Those who have never felt thirst, never suffered in a 
simoom in the wilderness, or been far off at sea, with 

" Water, water everywhere, 
Nor any drop to drink," 

can form no idea of our sensations. They are best illus- 
trated by the exclamation of the victim in Dante's Inferno. 

"The little rills which down the grassy side 
Of Casentino flow to Arno's stream, 
Filling their banks with verdure as they glide, 
Are ever in my view; — no idle dream — 


For more that vision parches, makes me weak, 
Than that disease, which wastes my pallid cheek." 

Our thoughts could not revert to home save in con- 
nexion with the precious element ; and many were the 
imaginary speeches we made to visionary common coun- 
cils against ideal water-carts, which went about unsub- 
stantial city streets, spouting the glorious liquid in the 
very wastefulness of abundance, every drop of which 
seemed priceless pearls, as we lay on the shore of the 
Dead Sea, in the feverish sleep of thirst. 

The poor, affrighted Arab slept not a wink ; — for, 
repeatedly, when I went out, as was my custom, to see 
that all was quiet and the sentries on the alert, he was 
ever in the same place, looking in the same direction. 

At midnight the thermometer stood at 98°; shortly 
after which the wind shifted and blew lightly from the 
north. At 4 A. M., thermometer, 82° ; comparatively 

Thursday, April 27. The first thing on waking, at day- 
break, I saw a large, black bird, high overhead, floating 
between us and the mottled sky. Shortly after, a large 
flock of birds flew along the shore, and a number of storks 
were noiselessly winging their way in the gray and indis- 
tinct light of the early morning. Calm and warm; — 
went up and bathed in the ravine. There were voices in 
the cliffs overhead, and shortly after there was the report 
of a gun, the reverberating echoes of which were distinctly 
heard at the camp. As I had come unattended, the officers 
were alarmed, and some came to look for me. Our Arab 
was exceedingly nervous. The gun was doubtless a signal 
from a look-out on the cliff to his friends inland, for these 
people live in a constant state of civil warfare, and station 
sentinels on elevated points to give notice of a hostile 
approach. I thought that we inspired them with more 
fear than they did us. Heard a partridge up in the cliffs, 


and saw a dove and a beautiful humming-bird in the 

There were some fellahas (female fellahin) on a plain 
to the northward of us. They allowed Mustafa to ap- 
proach within speaking distance, but no nearer.. They 
asked who we were, how and why we came, and why we 
did not go away. About an hour after, some thirty or 
forty fellahin, the sheikh armed with a sword, the rest 
with indifferent guns, lances, clubs, and branches of trees, 
came towards us, singing the song of their tribe. I drew 
our party up, the blunderbuss in front, and, with the 
interpreter, advanced to meet them. When they came 
near, I drew a line upon the ground, and told them that 
if they passed it they would be fired upon. There- 
upon, they squatted down, to hold a palaver. They 
belonged to the Ghaurariyeh, and were as ragged, filthy, 
and physically weak, as the tribe of Rashayideh, on the 
western shore. Finding us too strong for a demand, 
they began to beg for backshish. We gave them some 
food to eat, for they looked famished; also a little 
tobacco and a small gratuity, to bear a letter to 'Akll, 
(who must soon be in Kerak,) appointing when and 
where to have a look-out for us. 

Before starting, we took observations, and angled in 
every direction. Not far from us must be the site of 
Zoar ; and on some of these mountains Lot dwelt with 
his two daughters. This country is called Moab, after 
the son of the eldest daughter. Moab means one begotten 
by a father. 

At 8.45, started; sky cloudless, a light air from the 
west; thermometer, 94°. The Arabs gathered on the 
shore to see us depart, earnestly asking Mustafa how the 
boats could move without legs; he bade them wait 
awhile, and they would see very long legs. The Fanny 
Mason sounded directly across to the western shore ; the 


casts, taken at short intervals, varying from one and 
three-quarters to two and a quarter fathoms ; bottom, 
light and dark mud. Threw the patent log over ; tem- 
perature of the air, 95° ; of the water, 85°. 

This shallow bay is mentioned in Joshua, xv. 2. Every- 
thing said in the Bible about the sea and the Jordan, we 
believe to be fully verified by our observations. 

At 11.20, picked up a dead quail, which had probably 
perished in attempting to fly over the sea ; perhaps caught 
in last night's sirocco. At 11.28, there were appearances 
of sand-spits on the surface of the sea, doubtless the 
optical delusion which has so often led travellers to mis- 
take them for islands. 11.30, sent the Fanny Skinner to 
Point Molyneaux, the south end of the peninsula, to take 
meridian observation. 12.30, much frothy scum upon 
the water. At 12.52, landed at Wady Muhariwat (Sur- 
rounded ravine), on the western shore, where a shallow 
salt stream, formed by a number of springs oozing from a 
bank covered with shrubs, spread itself over a consider- 
able space, and trickled down over the pebbles into the 
sea. There were some very small fish in the stream. 
Thermometer, 96°. 

At 1.15 P. M., started again, and steered parallel with 
the western shore. Keeping about one-third the distance 
between the western shore and the peninsula, the sound- 
ings ranged steadily at two and a quarter fathoms ; first 
part light, the second part dark mud. At 3.05, a very 
singular swell from north-west, — an undulation, rather ; 
for the waves were glassy, with an unbroken surface, and 
there was not air enough stirring to move the gossamer 
curls of a sleeping infant. We knew well of what it was 
the precursor, and immediately steered for the land. We 
had scarcely rowed a quarter of an hour, the men pulling 
vigorously to reach the shelter of the cliffs, when we were 
struck by a violent gust of hot wind, — another sirocco. 



The surface of the water became instantly ruffled ; chang- 
ing in five minutes from a slow, sluggish, unbroken swell, 
to an angry and foaming sea. 

With eyes smarting from the spray, we buffeted against 
it for upwards of an hour, when the wind abruptly sub- 
sided, and the sea as rapidly became smooth and rippling. 
The gust was from the north-west. The wind afterwards 
became light and baffling, — at one moment fair, the next 
directly ahead ; the smooth surface of the water unbroken, 
except a light ruffle here and there, as swept by the 
flickering airs. 

At 4.15 P. M., stopped for the night in a spacious bay, on 
a fine pebbly beach, at the foot of Rubtat el Jamus (Tying 
of the Buffalo). It was a desolate-looking, verdureless 
range above us. There was no water to be found, and 
our provisions were becoming scarce ; we made a scanty 
supper, but had the luxury of a bed of pebbles, which, 
although hard and coarse, was far preferable to the mud 
and dust of our last sleeping-place. We hoped, too, to 
have but a reasonable number of insect-bedfellows. 

Mr. Dale described the extreme point of the peninsula 
upon which he landed as a low flat, covered with incrus- 
tations of salt and carbonate of lime. It was the point 
of the margin : there was a corresponding point to the 
high land, which is thinly laminated with salt. They 
picked up some small pieces of pure sulphur. In a cave, 
he saw tracks of a panther. After leaving the point, he 
saw a small flock of ducks and a heron, which were too 
shy to permit a near approach. 

Before retiring, our Arabs, who had gone for hours in 
a fruitless search for water, returned with some dhom 
apples (fruit of the nubk), which amazingly helped out 
the supper. 

I do not know what we should have done without these 
Arabs ; they brought us food when we were nearly fam- 


ished, and water when parched with thirst. They acted 
as guides and messengers, and in our absence faithfully 
guarded the camp. A decided course tempered with 
courtesy, wins at once their respect and good will. Al- 
though they are an impetuous race, not an angry word 
had thus far passed between us. With the blessing of 
God, I hoped to preserve the existing harmony to the last. 

Took observations of Polaris. The north-west wind, 
hot and unrefreshing, sprang up at 8 P. M., and blew 
through the night. At 10, thermometer 84° ; at mid- 
night, 82°. 

Friday, April 28. Called all hands at 5.30 A. M.; light 
airs from N. E., sky clouded, cirro-cumulus. Breakfasted 
a la hate on a small cup of coffee each, and started at 
5.58. If the wind should spring up fair, we purposed 'sail- 
ing over to the Arnon; in the mean time we coasted 
along the shore towards Ain Jidy, for the water was ex- 
hausted, and we must make for the camp if a calm or a 
head wind should prevail. At 7.30, the wind freshened up 
from N. E. A little north of Sebbeh we passed a long, low, 
gravelly island, left uncovered by the retrocession of the 
water. A great refraction of the atmosphere. The 
Fanny Skinner, round the point, seemed elevated above it. 
Her whole frame, from the surface of the water, was dis- 
tinctly visible, although the land intervened. At 12, 
wind fresh, air 87°, water 82°. Our compass glass was 
incrusted with salt. 

Notwithstanding the high wind, the tendency to drow- 
siness was almost irresistible. The men pulled mechani- 
cally, with half-closed lids, and, except them and myself, 
every one in the copper boat was fast asleep. The neces- 
sity of steering and observing all that transpired, alone 
kept me awake. The drowsy sensation, amounting almost 
to stupor, was greatest in the heat of the day, but did not 
disappear at night. In the experience of all, two hours' 


watch here seemed longer than double the period else- 
where. At 1.30 P. M., nearly up with Ain Jidy ; the white 
tents of the camp, the line of green, and the far-off foun- 
tain, speaking of shade, refreshment, and repose. A camel 
was lying on the shore, and two Arabs a little beyond. 
Discerning us, the latter rose quickly and came towards 
the landing, shouting, singing, and making wild gesticu- 
lations, and one of them stooped and picked up a handful 
of earth and put it upon his head. Here the Sherif met 
us with a delight too simple-hearted in its expression to 
be insincere. The old man had been exceedingly anxious 
for our safety, and seemed truly overjoyed at our return. 
We were also much gratified to find that he had been 

One of the Arabs whom we sent back from Usdum fell 
fainting on his return, and nearly famished for want of 
water. His companions, suffering from the same cause, 
were compelled to leave him on the parched and arid 
shore and hasten forward to save themselves. Fortunately 
there was a messenger in the camp, who had come on 
horseback from Jerusalem, and Sherif was enabled to 
send water forthwith, and have the poor man brought to 
the tents. 

Found letters awaiting us from Beirut, forwarded ex- 
press from Jerusalem. Our consul at the former place 
announced the death of John Quincy Adams, Ex-Presi- 
dent of the U. States, and sent an extract from a Malta 
paper containing the annunciation. These were the first 
tidings we had received from the outer world, and their 
burthen was a sad one. But on that sea the thought of 
death harmonized with the atmosphere and the scenery, 
and when echo spoke of it, where all else was desolation 
and decay, it was hard to divest ourselves of the idea 
that there was nothing but death in the world, and we 
the only living : — 



" Death is here, and death is there, 
Death is busy everywhere." 

We lowered the flag half-mast, and there was a gloom 
throughout the camp. 

Among the letters, I received one from the Mushir of 
Saida. After many compliments, he promised to repri- 
mand Sa'id Bey for the grasping spirit he had evinced, 
and authorized our ally, 'Akil, to remain with us as long 
as we might desire. 

The very friendly letter of Mr. Chasseaud contained 
startling news from Europe. The great Being who wisely 
rules over all, is doubtless punishing the nations for their 
sins ; but, as His justice is ever tempered with mercy, I 
have not the smallest doubt that when the ordeal is 
passed, the result will be beneficial to the human race. 
The time is coming — the beginning is even now — when 
the whole worthless tribe of kings, with all their myrmi- 
dons, will be swept from their places and made to bear a 
part in the toils and sufferings of the great human family ; 
— when, not in theory only, but in fact, every man will 
be free and all men ' politically equal ; — then, this world 
will be a happy one, for liberty, rightly enjoyed, brings 
every blessing with it. 

In the evening we walked up the ravine to bathe. It 
was a toilsome walk over the rough debris brought down 
by the winter rains. A short distance up, we were sur- 
prised to see evidences of former habitations in the rocks. 
Roughly hewn caverns and natural excavations we had 
frequently observed, but none before evincing so much art. 
Some of the apertures were arched and cased with sills 
of limestone resembling an inferior kind of marble. We 
were at a loss how to obtain an entrance, for they were 
cut in the perpendicular face of the rock, and the lowest 
more than fifty feet from the bed of the ravine. We 
stopped to plan some mode of gaining an entrance to one 


of them ; but the sound of the running stream, and the 
cool shadow of the gorge were too inviting, and advancing 
through tamarisk, oleander, and cane, we came upon the 
very Egeria of fountains. Far in among the cane, em- 
bowered, imbedded, hidden deep in the shadow of the 
purple rocks and the soft green gloom of luxuriant vege- 
tation, lapsing with a gentle murmur from basin to basin, 
over the rocks, under the rocks, by the rocks, and clasp- 
ing the rocks with its crystal arms, was this little 
fountain-wonder. The thorny nubk and the pliant osher 
were on the bank above ; yet lower, the oleander and the 
tamarisk ; while upon its brink the lofty cane, bent by 
the weight of its fringe-like tassels, formed bowers over 
the stream fit for the haunts of Naiads. Diana herself 
could not have desired a more secluded bath than each of 
us took in a separate basin. 

This, more probably than the fountain of Ain Jiddy 
(Engaddi), high up the mountain, may be regarded as 
the realization of the poet's dream — the genuine " diamond 
of the desert" — and in one of the vaulted caves above, 
the imagination can dwell upon the night procession, 
Edith Plantagenet, and the flower dropped in hesitation 
and picked up with avidity ; the pure, disinterested aspi- 
rations of the Crusader, the licentious thoughts of the 
Saracen, and the wild, impracticable visions of the saintly 
enthusiast. One of those caverns too, since fashioned by 
the hand of man, may have been the veritable cave of 
" Adullam," for this is the wilderness of Engaddi.* Here 
too may have been the dwellings of the Essenes, in the 
early days of Christianity, and subsequently of hermits, 
when Palestine was under Christian sway. Our Arabs 
say that these caves have been here from time immemo- 

* " And David went up from thence, and dwelt in strong holds at En- 
gaddi."—! Samuel, xxiii. 29. 


rial, and that many years ago some of the tribe succeeded 
in entering one of them, and found vast chambers exca- 
vated in the rock. They may have been the cells where 
"gibbered and moaned" the hermit of Engaddi. 

Having bathed, we returned much refreshed to the 
camp. The messenger had brought sugar and lemons, 
and, with abundance of water, we had lemonade and cof- 
fee ; and, sheltered from the sun, with the wind blowing 
through the tent, we revelled in enjoyment. This place, 
which at first seemed so dreary, had now become almost 
a paradise by contrast. The breeze blew freshly, but it 
was so welcome a guest, after the torrid atmosphere of 
noon, that we even let it tear up the tent stakes, and 
knock the whole apparatus about our ears, with a kind 
of indulgent fondness, rather disposed to see something 
amusing in the flutter among the half-dried linen on the 
thorn-bushes. This reckless disregard of our personal 
property bore ample testimony to our welcome greeting 
of the wind. 

At one time, to-day, the sea assumed an aspect pecu- 
liarly sombre. Unstirred by the wind, it lay smooth and 
unruffled as an inland lake. The great evaporation 
enveloped it in a thin, transparent vapour, its purple tinge 
contrasting strangely with the extraordinary colour of the 
sea beneath, and, where they blended in the distance, 
giving it the appearance of smoke from burning sulphur. 
It seemed a vast cauldron of metal, fused but motionless. 

About sunset, we tried whether a horse and a donkey 
could swim in the sea without turning over. The result 
was that, although the animals turned a little on one side, 
they did not lose their balance. As Mr. Stephens tried 
his experiment earlier in the season, and nearer the north 
end of the sea, his horse could not have turned over from 
the greater density of the water there than here. His 
animal may have been weaker, or, at the time, more 


exhausted than ours. A muscular man floated nearly 
breast-high, without the least exertion. 

Pliny says that some foolish, rich men of Home had 
water from this sea conveyed to them to bathe in, under 
the impression that it possessed medicinal qualities. 
Galen remarked on this that they might have saved 
themselves the trouble, by dissolving, in fresh water, as 
much salt as it could hold in solution ; to which Reyland 
adds, that Galen was not aware that the water of the 
Dead Sea held other things besides salt in solution. 

We picked up a large piece of bitumen on the sea-shore 
to-day. It was excessively hot to the touch. This com- 
bustible mineral is so great a recipient of the solar rays, 
that it must soften in the intense heat of summer. We 
gathered also some of the blossoms and the green and 
dried fruits of the osher* for preservation with the flowers 

* This fruit is doubtless the genuine apple of Sodom, for it is fair to the 
eye and bitter to the taste, and when ripe is filled with fibre and dust. 
Four jars, containing specimens, together with a drawing of the leaf and 
blossom, are placed in the patent-office, at Washington. 

We have succeeded in bringing safely home some of the green and the 
dried fruit, and also the leaves and blossoms of the osher, put up in spirits 
of wine. 

" The first notice taken of the apple of Sodom is by Josephus : — 'Which 
fruits have a colour as if they were fit to be eaten ; but if you pluck them 
with your hands, they dissolve into smoke and ashes.' They are also 
spoken of by Tacitus : — 'The herbage may spring up, and the trees may 
put forth their blossoms, they may even attain the usual appearance of 
maturity, but with this florid outside, all within turns black and moulders 
into dust.' 

De Chartres, who visited Palestine in 1 100, speaks of this fruit, and com- 
pares its deceitful appearance to the pleasures of the world ; and they are 
also noticed by Baumgarten, De la Valle, Maundrell, and others, as having 
a real existence ; but Pococke and Shaw deride these accounts as fabulous. 
In the last century, Amman describes them as resembling a small apple, 
of a beautiful colour, and growing on a shrub resembling the hawthorn. 
Hasselquist, on the contrary, is of opinion that it is the fruit of the sola- 
num melongena, or egg-plant. He says that ' it is found in great abun- 



collected in the descent of the Jordan, and the various 
places we have visited on this sea. 

The dried fruit, the product of last year, was extremely 
brittle, and crushed with the slightest pressure. The 
green, half-formed fruit of this year was soft and elastic 
as a puff-ball, and, like the leaves and stem, yields a 
viscous, white, milky fluid when cut. Dr. Kobinson very 
aptly compared it to the milk-weed. This viscous fluid 
the Arabs call leben-usher (osher-milk), and they con- 
sider it a cure for barrenness. Dr. Anderson was enthu- 
siastic in his searches, and although he kept his regular 

dance round Jericho, in the valleys near the Jordan, and in the neighbour- 
hood of the Dead Sea. It is true that these apples are sometimes full of 
dust, but this appears only when the fruit is attacked by an insect, which 
converts the whole of the inside into dust, leaving nothing but the rind 
entire, without causing it to lose any of its colour.' Linnaeus thought, 
also, that they were the fruit of a solanum, and named a species having 
large yellow berries, with black seeds, surrounded by a greenish pulp, 
which dries into a bitter, nauseous powder, solanum Sodomeum ; but it 
has been found that this plant is a native of Southern Africa, and not of 

Some writers, again, have supposed this fruit to be the gall of the tere- 
binth, or turpentine-tree. Chateaubriand speaks of it as about the size and 
colour of a small lemon, which, before it is ripe, is filled with a corrosive 
and saline juice, and when dried, contains only numerous blackish seeds, 
which may be compared to ashes, and in taste resemble bitter pepper. He 
states that they are the product of a thorny shrub, having taper leaves. In 
the travels of the Duke of Ragusa (Marmont), it is spoken of much in the 
same terms. These descriptions apply to a species of solanum, and espe- 
cially to the s. sanctum, a prickly, shrub-like plant, very common in 

Seetzen, who does not appear to have seen the plant, says, ' I saw, 
during my stay at Kerak, in the house of the Greek clergyman of that 
town, a species of cotton, resembling silk. This cotton, as he told me, 
grows in the plain of El Ghor, near the southern extremity of the Dead 
Sea, on a tree like the fig-tree, called Abesche-iz ; it is found in a fruit 
resembling the pomegranate. It struck me that this fruit, which has no 
pulp or flesh in the inside, and is unknown in the rest of Palestine, might 
be the celebrated apple of Sodom.' 


watch, was ever, when not on post, hammering at the 
rocks. He had already collected many valuable spe- 

Through the night, a pleasant breeze from the west. 
Blowing over the wilderness of Judea, it was unaccompa- 
nied with a nauseous smell. Towards morning, the wind 
hauled to the north and freshened — strange that the wea- 
ther should become warmer as the wind veered to the 
northern quarter : but so it was. Sweeping along the 
western shore^ it brought the foetid odour of the sul- 
phureous marshes with it. The Arabs call this sea Bahr 
Lut (Sea of Lot), or Birket Lut (Pool of Lot). 

This description of Seetzen's agrees very well with the fruit described 
as the apple of Sodom, which occurred in the same place, and has the 
same silky or cotton-like interior : but the plant which produces it is not 
like the fig-tree, nor is it called Abesche-iz. Those we saw, in various 
places along the shores of the Dead Sea, resembled very closely the milk- 
weed, which is so common in the United States ; it is, in fact, a closely 
allied plant, being the asclepias procera of the earlier writers, now, how- 
ever, forming part of the genus calotropis. This plant occurs in many 
parts of the east, and was known as early as the time of Theophrastus. 
It is figured and described by Prosper Alpinus under the name, birdet el 
ossar; but it is now called, by the Arabs, oscher, or osher. 

It is a tall, perennial plant, with thick, dark-green, shining, opposite 
leaves, on very short foot-stalks ; the flowers are interminal, and have 
axillary umbels of a purple colour, succeeded by somewhat globose pods, 
about the size of a large apple, containing numerous flattened, brown seeds, 
each furnished with a silky plume or pappus. The bark, especially at the 
lower part of the stem, is cork-like and much fissured. If it be cut, or a 
leaf torn off, a viscous, milky juice exudes, which is exceedingly acrid, and 
even caustic, and is said to be used in Egypt as a depillatory. In Persia, 
this plant is said to exude a bitter and acrid manna, owing to the puncture 
of insects. Chardin says that it is poisonous. Both the plant and its juice 
have been used in medicine, and probably are identical with the mudar, or 
madar, of India, which has attracted so much notice as a remedy for dis- 
eases of the skin." — Griffith. 



Saturday, April 29. Awakened at daylight by one of 
the Arabs calling the rest to prayer. The summons but 
slightly heeded. Despatched Mr. Dale, Dr. Anderson, 
and Mr. Bedlow, with the interpreter, a Turkish soldier, 
and some Arab guides, to Sebbeh (Masada) ; they took 
the camel with them to carry water. Soon after break- 
fast, sent the Fanny Skinner to sound in a north and 
south line, between the peninsula and the western shore. 
A clear, pleasant morning; wind fresh from the N. W. 
Experienced some difficulty in getting the boat through 
the surf. 

Remained in camp to write a report of proceedings to 
the Hon. Secretary of the Navy, and to answer the kind 
letters of H. B. M. Consul at Jerusalem, and Mr. Chas- 
seaud, U. S. Consul at Beirut. Every thing quiet ; and, 
towards noon, as the wind subsided, the sea assumed its 
sombre and peculiar hue. 

At noon, fired out at sea, in honour of the illustrious 
dead, twenty-one minute-guns from the heavy blunderbuss 
mounted on the bow of the Fanny Mason. The reports 
reverberated loudly and strangely amid the cavernous 
recesses of those lofty and barren mountains. This sea 
is wondrous, in every sense of the word ; so sudden are 
its changes, and so different the aspects it presents, as to 
make it seem as if we were in a world of enchantment. 

We were alternately upon the brink and the surface of a 



huge, and sometimes seething cauldron. Picked up a 
piece of scoriated lava. 

At 1 P. M., Mr. Aulick returned. He reported a gra- 
dual decrease of soundings to thirteen fathoms, nearly 
up the slope to the shallow basin of the southern sea. 
Everything favours the supposition that the guilty cities 
stood on the southern plain, between Usdum and the 
mountains of Moab. The northern part must have been 
always water, or the plain have sunk at the time of the 

Protected by our presence from the fear of robbers, 
some of the Ta'amirah came in to harvest their few 
scanty patches of barley. They cut the grain, with their 
swords for reaping-hooks, and threw it upon the thresh- 
ing-floor, — a circular piece of hard, trampled ground, 
around which were driven three donkeys, abreast. It 
was a slow and wasteful process. The little unmuzzled 
brutes were, in their rounds, permitted to nip the up- 
turned ears. We had often noticed the humanity of 
this people towards the brute creation. In a moment of 
excitement, Shertf wounded a stork, but seemed sincerely 
sorry for it afterwards. The Arab who brought the wild 
boar pigs to sell, cut their throats rather than turn them 
adrift, when they would have perished for want of food, 
which they were too young to procure. These Arabs 
always express great horror at anything like wanton 
cruelty towards animals. And yet 'Akil looked upon the 
woman whose husband he had slain, without the drooping 
of an eyelid, or the visible relaxation of a muscle. It is 
for philosophers to account for this trait of humanity 
towards animals, in a race proverbially reckless of the 
lives of their fellow-creatures. 

The small quantity of grain these people could spare, 
we purchased for distribution at home. In the afternoon, 
mounted on Shertf 's spirited mare, I went up to the foun- 


tain of Ain Jidy. It is a clear, beautiful stream, issuing 
from the rock, skirted by the cane and shadowed by the 
nubk, four hundred feet up the mountain. The view 
from it was magnificent, particularly towards Usdum and 
the southern basin of the sea. 

At sunset, the party to Sebbeh returned. The follow- 
ing account I glean from the reports of Mr. Dale, Dr. 
Anderson, and Mr. Bedlow. 

Their route, at first, led along the shore of the sea to 
the south, over the debris brought down by the winter 
torrents, — a road, over which no other but an Arab horse 
could have travelled a mile without breaking his limbs, 
or dashing his rider upon the sharp rocks, or disappear- 
ing, rider and all, down one of the gulleys which furrowed 
the delta from the bases of the cliffs to the margin of the 
sea. After passing a projecting headland, which bounded 
the shore-line view from the encampment, they beheld, in 
the distance, most singular formations, resembling a plain 
covered with towns and villages, marble cities, with 
columns, temples, domes, and palaces, which, as they 
advanced, faded away, and finally resolved themselves 
into curiously-configurated hills, so marked and chan- 
nelled by the weather, that, although aware of the forma- 
tion, it was difficult to destroy the first illusion. A little 
after eight o'clock, they came to Wady Sebbeh, and dis- 
covered a distinct road, fifteen feet wide and marked by 
two parallel rows of stones, which continued, with inter- 
ruptions, for the space of a quarter of a mile. At nine 
o'clock, when the heat of the sun began to be oppressive, 
they reached a low cave in the southern face of the moun- 
tain, over Wady Sey al, — a deep ravine, which separates 
the cliff from the main ridge on the north. Here they 
dismounted, as it was impossible to proceed farther on 
horseback. Hence, sometimes upon their hands and 
knees, they clambered up the steep and rugged cliff, its 


perpendicular side pierced with apertures, like the Kock 
of Gibraltar. They were inclined to believe, that the 
path by which they ascended is the one which Josephus 
calls the "serpent, as resembling that animal in its nar- 
rowness and perpetual windings ; for it is broken off at 
the prominent precipices of the rock, and returns fre- 
quently into itself, and, lengthening again by little and 
little, hath much to do to proceed forward, and he that 
would walk along it, must first go on one leg and then on 
the other ; there is also nothing but destruction, in case 
your feet slip, for on each side there is a vastly deep 
chasm and precipice." 

They crossed the ravine upon a chalky ridge, which, 
although considerably below the highest point of the cliff, 
yet connects the southern steep of Seyal to the northern 
escarpment of Masada, and reached the top a little before 
10 A. M. The whole summit was surrounded by the 
ruins of a wall, built on the brink of the precipice. Pass- 
ing through a gateway with a pointed arch, the keystone 
and voissures of which were of hewn stone, curiously 
marked with Greek delta-shaped figures A, and others 
resembling the planetary symbol of Yenus $, some up- 
right and some reversed, and others again with rude 
crosses and the unfinished letter T, they came upon an 
area of about three-fourths of a mile in length from north 
to south, and one-fourth of a mile from east to west. 

There was very little vegetation, except in the bottoms 
of a few excavations, which seemed to have been used as 
cisterns or granaries, and which were half filled with a 
rank weed and a species of lichen. Elsewhere, the earth 
was as sterile as if sown with salt; yet Herod spoke of it 
as being "of a fat soil, and better mould than any valley 
for agriculture." Concerning these excavations, Josephus 
says, — " He (Herod) also had cut many and great pits, as 
reservoirs for water, out of the rocks, at every one of the 


places that were inhabited, both above and around the 
palace and before the wall ; and by this contrivance, he 
endeavoured to have water for several uses, as if there 
had been fountains there." 

Towards the northern and western edge of the cliff, 
and near the point which is probably the " White Pro- 
montory/' mentioned by Josephus, they observed one of 
these excavations of considerable extent, much choked 
with the ruins and rubbish of its own cemented walls, 
together with the decomposed thistles and rank weeds of 
many centuries. 

In the south-west corner of the rock, they found one 
still larger, finely stuccoed, with a gallery, a flight of 
forty stone steps, and lighted by two windows on the 
southern face of the cliff. This large room was beauti- 
fully stuccoed with pebbles, and as smooth and clean as 
if just finished. This excavated chamber led them to 
infer that there were numerous others, lighted by the 
apertures in the cliff they had seen outside on their 
ascent ; but they could find no access to them. 

At the distance of about 100 feet below the northern 
summit, on an inaccessible precipitous ledge, they saw the 
ruins of a round tower ; and forty or fifty feet below that, 
on another ledge, the foundation walls of a square enclo- 
sure, with a triangular wall abutting with the angles of 
its base upon the walls of the circular tower, and the 
west side of the square enclosure. They found it impos- 
sible to descend to examine these ruins. 

Besides the remains of the round tower, or donjon keep, 
there were, on the summit, the fragments of walls with 
circular recesses of tessellated brick-work, arched door- 
ways, and mullioned windows, partly surrounding an en- 
closure which was perhaps the court-yard or quadrangle 
of the castle, now filled with rubbish, fragments of marble, 
mosaic and pottery. 


The foundations and lower portions of the wall built 
around the entire top of the hill by Herod, are still remain- 
ing on the eastern side. The officers amused themselves 
by displacing some of the stones and sending them over 
the cliff, and watching them as they whirled and bounded 
to the base, upwards of 1200 feet down, with more fear- 
ful velocity than the stones from the Koman ballistse when 
Silva pressed the siege. 

One of the windows, apparently a part of a chapel, 
looked out upon the sea. It was the one appearing as an 
arch, which we saw when passing in the boats. From 
thence, the sea could be seen throughout its whole extent, 
its northern and southern extremities clearly defined, 
even through the haze which overhung them. The con- 
figuration of the peninsula lay distinctly before them, and 
bore some resemblence to an outspread wing. 

Immediately below them, along the base of the cliff, 
could be traced the wall of circumvallation which " Silva 
built on the outside, round about the whole place, and 
had thereby made a most accurate provision to prevent 
any one of the besieged running away." 

Continuing their explorations towards the southern and 
eastern edge of the cliff, they followed a perilous track 
along the face of the rock, which could not have been less 
than 1000 feet in perpendicular height above the chasm, 
and came upon an extensive shelf or platform encum- 
bered with masses of rubbish and masonry, evidently the 
ruins of the wall which edged the cliff above. Scram- 
bling over the heaps, they reached an excavation which 
the Arab guide called a cistern, which is probably correct, 
for in descending they saw narrow troughs or aqueducts, 
the inner half scooped in the rock. It was an oblong 
cell, hewn in the rock, measuring thirty feet in length, 
fifteen in breadth, and eighteen or twenty in depth, 
cemented on all sides. At the entrance of the excavation 


they saw the carcase of an animal recently killed. It re- 
sembled the rabbit, and was called by the Arabs " webr" 
or webeh, the coney of scripture. To the left of the 
entrance, and within the cell, was a small night of steps 
terminating in a platform. Like the walls, the steps 
were coated with cement. Above this was an aperture 
not accessible by the steps. By notching the wall, they 
contrived to reach it. It was the entrance of a low cave, 
roughly hewn in the rock, with a window looking out 
upon the steep face of Wady Senin. Around the rough 
and uncemented walls were rude crosses in red paint, and 
upon the dust of the floor were the fresh footprints of the 
" whal," or the bteddin. 

They attempted to explore the southern face of the 
mountain, by following a zigzag path along the ledge pro- 
jecting a few feet from the rough surface of rock, but 
found it impracticable from the looseness of the rocks and 
the fearful dizzy depth below. On their return, they ob- 
served a singular ruin about the centre of the quadrangle. 
The square blocks of stone, cemented together with great 
regularity, were cellular on both sides, so abraded by the 
weather as to present the appearance of a honey-comb. 
They supposed it to have been a store-house or barracks 
for soldiers. Before descending they sketched the sea, 
and took many bearings. On their return to the cave, 
the Arabs asked them if their visit had been " acceptable." 
These people believe that we come here to search for 
treasure or to visit places we consider holy. In Wady 
Seyal (Ravine of Acacias) were many seyal or acacia 

* Acacia Seyal or Nilotica furnishes gum Arabic, and probably afforded 
the shittah or shittim wood, used in building the tabernacle. In Isaiah, 
the shittah is joined with the myrtle and other fragrant shrubs. The 
flowers have an agreeable odour. Almost all travellers speak of the acacia 
seyal as abounding in Palestine and the desert of Arabia. It is sometimes 


On their return, they noticed a foetid sulphureous smell 
in passing Berket el Khiilil (the " tank of Khulil) . 

Their report seems to confirm the supposition of 
Messrs. Kobinson and Smith that the ruins of Sebbeh are 
those of Masada. At every step in our route, where 
these gentlemen have been, we found that accurate and 
learned observers had preceded us, and in these precur- 
sors, with no little satisfaction, we recognised our own 



Sunday, April 30. This morning, like the land we are 
in, we enjoyed our Sabbath, and slept until the sun and 
flies compelled us to get up. There were light airs from 
the west. At 6.30 A. M., thermometer 84°, and quite 
warm. The wind had been fresh in the night, and the 
boats were driven by the surf broadside on the beach. 
The atmosphere of the tent being oppressive, we break- 
fasted outside in its shade. Some of us spent the fore- 
noon in the quiet recesses of the ravine, endeavouring to 
observe the day. Thus far, all, with one exception, had 
enjoyed good health, but there were symptoms which 
caused me uneasiness. The figure of each one had 
assumed a dropsical appearance. The lean had become 
stout, and the stout almost corpulent ; the pale faces had 
become florid, and those which were florid, ruddy ; more- 
over, the slightest scratch festered, and the bodies of 

called by the Arabs the talk, and camels graze on its leaves and tender 
branches. — Griffith. 


many of us were covered with small pustules. The men 
complained bitterly of the irritation of their sores, when- 
ever the acrid water of the sea touched them. Still, all 
had good appetites, and I hoped for the best.* There 
could be nothing pestilential in the atmosphere of the sea. 
There is little verdure upon its shores, and, by conse- 
quence, but little vegetable decomposition to render the 
air impure ; and the foetid smell we had frequently 
noticed, doubtless proceeded from the sulphur-impreg- 
nated thermal springs, which were not considered dele- 
terious. Three times, it is true, we had picked up dead 
birds, but they, doubtless, had perished from exhaustion, 
and not from any malaria of the sea, which is perfectly 
inodorous, and, more than any other, abounds with saline 
exhalations, which, I believe, are considered wholesome. 
Our Ta'amirah told us that, in pursuance of the plan he 
had adopted with regard to the settlement of the Ghor, 
Ibrahim Pasha sent three thousand Egyptians to the 
shores of this sea, about ten years since, and that every 
one died within two months. This is, no doubt, very 
much exaggerated. 

There was, most probably, much mortality among the 
poor wretches, forced from their fertile plains to this rug- 
ged and inhospitable shore ; but dejection of spirits, and 
scarcity of food, must have been the great destroyers. 

At 12.15, started for the eastern shore, leaving Sherif 
again in charge, with directions to move the camp to Ain 
Turabeh, on Wednesday. This was the day appointed to 
meet 'Akil, and I felt sure that he would not fail us. 

A light air from the south induced me to abandon the 
awning and set the sail, to spare the men from labouring 

* Wherever there is an evil there is usually its antidote near at hand; 
and, perhaps, the remedy for these cutaneous diseases is to be found in the 
acrid juices of the osher, which grows here and upon the southern shores 
of this sea. 


at the oars. A light tapping of the ripples at the bow, 
and a faint line of foam and bubbles at her side, were the 
only indications that the boat was in motion. The 
Fanny Skinner was a mile astern, and all around partook 
of the stillness of death. The weather was intensely hot, 
and even the light air that urged us almost insensibly on- 
ward had something oppressive in its flaws of heat. The 
sky was unclouded, save by a few faint cirri in the north, 
sweeping plume-like, as if the sun had consumed the 
clouds, and the light wind had drifted their ashes. The 
glitter from the water, with its multitude of reflectors, 
for each ripple was a mirror, contributed much to our dis- 
comfort ; yet the water was not transparent, but of the 
colour of diluted absinthe, or the prevailing tint of a Per- 
sian opal. The sun, we felt, was glaring upon us, but the 
eye dared not take cognizance, for the fierce blaze would 
have blighted the powers of vision, as Semele was con- 
sumed by the unveiled divinity of Jove. 

The black chasms and rough peaks, embossed with 
grimness, were around and above us, veiled in a transpa- 
rent mist, like visible air, that made them seem unreal, — 
and, 1300 feet below, our sounding-lead had struck upon 
the buried plain of Siddim, shrouded in slime and salt. 

While busied with such thoughts, my companions had 
yielded to the oppressive drowsiness, and now lay before 
me in every attitude of a sleep that had more of stupor in 
it than of repose. In the awful aspect which this sea 
presented, when we first beheld it, I seemed to read the 
inscription over the gates of Dante's Inferno : — " Ye who 
enter here, leave hope behind." Since then, habituated 
to mysterious appearances in a journey so replete with 
them, and accustomed to scenes of deep and thrilling 
interest at every step of our progress, those feelings of 
awe had been insensibly lessened or hushed by deep inte- 
rest in the investigations we had pursued. But now, as I 
29 w 


sat alone in my wakefulness, the feeling of awe returned ; 
and, as I looked upon the sleepers, I felt " the hair of my 
flesh stand up," as Job's did, when " a spirit passed before 
his face ;" for, to my disturbed imagination, there was 
something fearful in the expression of their inflamed and 
swollen visages. The fierce angel of disease seemed 
hovering over them, and I read the forerunner of his 
presence in their flushed and feverish sleep. Some, with 
their bodies bent and arms dangling over the abandoned 
oars, their hands excoriated with the acrid water, slept 
profoundly; — others, with heads thrown back, and lips 
cracked and sore, with a scarlet flush on either cheek, 
seemed overpowered by heat and weariness even in sleep ; 
while some, upon whose faces shone the reflected light 
from the water, looked ghastly, and dozed with a nervous 
twitching of the limbs, and now and then starting from 
their sleep, drank deeply from a breaker and sank back 
again to lethargy. The solitude, the scene, my own 
thoughts, were too much ; I felt, as I sat thus, steering 
the drowsily-moving boat, as if I were a Charon, ferrying, 
not the souls, but the bodies, of the departed and the 
damned, over some infernal lake, and could endure it no 
longer; but breaking from my listlessness, ordered the 
sails to be furled and the oars resumed — action seemed 
better than such unnatural stupor. 

Prudence urged us to proceed no farther, but to stop, 
before some disaster overtook us; but the thought of 
leaving any part of our work undone was too painful, 
and I resolved to persevere, but to be as expeditious as 
possible without working the party too hard. 

At 4.10 P.M., reached " Point Costigan," north end 
of the peninsula, and steered S. S. E. across the bay, to 
search for water and for signals from 'Akil. The heat 
was still intense, rendered less endurable by the bright 
glare from the white spiculae of the peninsula, and the 


dazzling reflection from the surface of the sea. At 4.45, 
sounded in twenty-four fathoms, hard bottom, about gun- 
shot distance from the land. 5.05, saw an Arab on the 
shore among the low canes and bushes, and shortly after 
several others. Preparing for hostilities, yet in the 
hope of a friendly reception, we pulled directly in and 
hailed them. To our great delight, one of them proved 
to be Jum'ah (Friday), sent by 'Akil, who yesterday ar- 
rived at Kerak. We immediately landed, and bivouacked 
upon the beach, a short distance from a shallow stream 
descending the Wady Beni Hamed. 

'Akil, on leaving us at 'Ain el Feshkah, endeavoured, 
according to agreement, to find his way to the eastern 
shore and thence to Kerak. On his way he stopped with 
some of his friends, a portion of the tribe of Beni Siikrs 
from Salt. In the night they were unexpectedly attacked 
by a party of Beni 'Adwans. At first, being much infe- 
rior in numbers, they retreated, 'Akil losing his camel 
and all his baggage. Subsequently they were strongly 
reinforced, and became assailants in their turn. The 
action lasted several hours ; they had twelve wounded, 
including two of 'Akil's followers, and twenty-two of the 
Adwans were reported to be killed and wounded, among 
the former the son of the skeikh. 'Akil's Nubian was 
twice wounded in the arm, once by a gun-shot, and once 
by the thrust of a spear. The rifle of the hostile young 
sheikh was given to Sherif Musaid, nephew of Sherif 
Hazaa, for his gallantry in the action. 

We learned from Jum'ah that there were two sheikhs 
or governors in Kerak, a Christian one, who could muster 
250 riflemen, and a Muslim one, whose followers were 
mostly mounted, and far more numerous ; — the former 
wholly subservient to the latter. 

At 7.30 P. M., Sulieman, the son of Abd 'Allah, Chris- 
tian sheikh of Kerak, with four followers, arrived with a 


welcome and an invitation from his father to visit him in 
his mountain fortress, seventeen miles distant, saying that 
he would have come himself if certain of meeting us. 
They had been despatched at Akil's instance at early 
daybreak, and from the mountains, on their way down, 
saw us crossing the sea. An invitation was also received 
from the Muslim sheikh. I accepted it with a full sense 
of the risk incurred ; but the whole party was so much 
debilitated by the sirocco we had experienced on the 
south side of the peninsula, and by the subsequent heat, 
that it became absolutely necessary to reinvigorate it 
at all hazards. I felt sure that Jum'ah would carefully 
guard our boats in our absence, and therefore sent to 'Akil, 
through whom alone I had resolved to hold transactions 
with this people, for horses and mules for the party. He 
had sent an apology for not coming in person on account 
of his wounded followers, and in consequence of all their 
horses being foundered. Mr. Dale, like myself, found it 
difficult to keep awake to-day, while steering the boat 
across. We are on the eastern side, a little north of the 
neck of the peninsula. Wady Kerak is at the S. E. ex- 
tremity of the bay. Between it and us is the village of 
Mezra'a, and in the near vicinity of the latter are the 
supposed ruins of Zoar. To-morrow we will continue the 
exploration of this deep and interesting bay. 

On our return here, in consequence of the sun having 
been pouring on my unsheltered back for some hours 
while steering the boat, I was heated excessively, and 
sick even to faintness; but a bath wonderfully refreshed 
me. On all occasions, when weary, faint, and almost ex- 
hausted, a bath has been the great restorative, and I 
recommended it to all. On the banks of the stream were 
oleanders eighteen feet high, and in full bloom. Here, 
too, as on the Jordan, it is quite fragrant. Between the 
camp and the stream, and scattered on the plain, are 


groves of acacia, and many osher trees as large as half- 
grown apple-trees, and with larger fruit than any we had 
seen. We gathered some of the size of the largest October 
peach, but green, soft, and pulpy; emitting, like the 
branches, a viscous milky fluid when cut, which the 
Arabs told us would be extremely injurious to the eyes 
if it touched them. There was some of the dried fruit 
too, as brittle as glass and flying to pieces on the slightest 
pressure. Within the last was a very small quantity of 
a thin, silky fibre, which is used by the Arabs for gun 
matches. The rind is thinner, but very much in colour 
like a dried lemon, and the dried fruit has the appearance 
of having spontaneously bursted. 

An Arab from Mezra'a brought us some detestable sour 
leban and some milk, but of which few could endure the 
smell, caused by the filthy goatskins which contained 
them, and which, it seems, are never washed. He also 
brought some flour made of the dhom apple, dried and 
pulverized, which was very palatable. 

The sheikh of Mezra'a, with some of his people, also 
came in. Together with the fellahin tribes at the south 
end of the sea, they are generally denominated Ghau- 
rariyeh. They are much darker, and their hair more 
wiry and disposed to curl than any Arabs we have seen. 
Their features as well as their complexion are more of 
the African type, and they are short and spare built, with 
low receding foreheads, and the expression of countenance 
is half sinister and half idiotic. Their only garment is a 
tunic of brief dimensions, open at the breast and confined 
round the waist by a band or leathern belt. The sheikh 
has rude sandals, fastened by thongs ; the rest are bare- 
footed. The women are even more abject-looking than 
the men, and studiously conceal their faces. They all, 
men and women, seem to bear impressed upon their fea- 
tures the curse of their incestuous origin. 


Their village, Mezra'a, is on the plain, about half an 
hour, or one mile and a half distant. Their houses are 
mere hovels plastered with mud. They cultivate the 
dhoura (millet), tobacco, and some indigo, a specimen of 
which we procured. 

The deputation from Kerak expressed great delight at 
beholding fellow-Christians upon the shores of this sea, 
and said that if they had known of our first arrival on 
the western shore, they would have gone round and in- 
vited us over. It was a strange sight to see these wild 
Arab Christians uniting themselves to us with such heart- 
felt cordiality. It would be interesting to trace whether 
they are some of the lost tribes subsequently converted 
to Christianity; or the descendants of Christians, who, 
in the fastnesses of the mountains, escaped the Muham- 
medan alternative of the Koran or the sword ; or a small 
Christian remnant of the Crusades. At all events their 
gratification at meeting us was unfeigned and warmly ex- 
pressed. They felt that we would sympathize with them 
in the persecutions to which they are subjected by their 
lawless Muslim neighbours. They had, indeed, our warm- 
est sympathies, and our blood boiled as we listened to a 
recital of their wrongs. We felt more than ever anxious 
to visit Kerak, and judge for ourselves of their condition. 
Their mode of salutation approaches nearer to our own 
than that of any other tribe we met ; they shake hands, 
and then each kisses the one he had extended. They 
had never seen a boat, which, in the language of the 
country, is called "choctura," and supposing that ours 
must have feet, examined them with great curiosity. 
They could not believe that anything larger could be 
made to float. In the course of the evening one of the 
fellahin from Mezra'a, when he first beheld them, stood 
for some time lost in contemplation, and then burst forth 
in joyful shouts of recognition. He was an Egyptian by 



birth, and stolen from his home when quite young, had 
forgotten everything connected with his native country, 
until the sight of our boats reminded him of having seen 
things resembling them ; and the Nile, and the boats 
upon its surface, and the familiar scenes of his childhood, 
rushed upon his memory. It was interesting to see the 
dull and clouded intellect gradually lighten up as the re- 
membrance of the past broke in upon it ; yet it was sad, 
for the glad smile of the Egyptian died away, and left a 
sorrowing expression upon his features — for from the 
Nile his dormant affections had, perhaps, reverted to the 
hovel upon its banks — and he thought of his mother and 
young barbarian playmates. 

These Christian Arabs are of the tribe Beni Khallas 
(Sons of the Invincible), a name inappropriate to their 
present condition. Their features are fuller and more 
placid in expression, and they seem more vigorous, manly, 
and intelligent than the Raschayideh and Ta'amirah of 
the Judean shore. After dinner, partaken by the light 
of the camp-fires, we set the watch and threw ourselves 
upon the shelving beach, each one wrapping up his head 
to screen it from the fresh wind. Our Christian Arabs 
kept watch and ward with us through the night, for they 
had reason to know that the Mezra'a people were dan- 
gerous neighbours. 

Although the wind was fresh from the north-west during 
the night, the thermometer, which was taken hourly, 
ranged from 82° down to 70°. At 70° the air felt uncom- 
fortably cold, so much had we been relaxed by the sirocco. 
During the day the weather became warmer, not only 
from the direct rays of the sun, but the reflected heat 
from the barren cliffs which hem in this sea. There were 
several meteors in the night, shooting from the zenith 
towards the north. One was peculiar; instead of darting 
along the sky, it seemed to drop directly down, with less 


than the usual velocity. It was very bright, and resem- 
bled falling fire-flakes from a discharged rocket. 

Monday, May 1. A calm and warm but not unpleasant 
morning; thermometer, 83°. At 7, sent Mr. Dale and 
Mr. Aulick in the Fanny Skinner to complete the topo- 
graphical sketch of the shore-lines of the bay, to verify 
the position of the mouth of Wady Kerak, and to sound 
down the middle on their return. About mid-day they 
came back ; the weather oppressively warm. 

Overhauled the copper boat, which wore away rapidly 
in this briny sea. Such was the action of the fluid upon 
the metal, that the latter, as long as it was exposed to its 
immediate friction, was as bright as burnished gold, but 
whenever it came in contact with the air, it corroded 

Put up specimens of the flower and fruit of the osher 
tree in spirits of wine, and procured some indigo, raised 
in the vicinity of Zoar, the ruins of which, a short dis- 
tance hence, I purposed visiting in the evening. At 9, a 
wild boar was brought in. A horse, taken into the bay, 
could, with difficulty, keep himself upright. ; Two fresh 
hens' eggs floated up one-third of their length. They 
would have sunk, in the water of the Mediterranean or 
the Atlantic. 

When one of our party inquired if there were stores in 
Kerak, describing a place where articles were sold, the 
Christian Arab replied, — " What we have we give : do 
you think that we would sell you any thing ? You are 
our friends." While waiting for the horses, we made this 
a feast-day; and, anticipating the usual hour, dined 
sumptuously, at 2 P. M., on wild boar's meat, onions, and 
the last of our rice. 

The stones on the beach before me, as I wrote, were 
encrusted with salt, and looked exactly as if whitewashed. 

It was well that we despatched 'Akil in advance to the. 


Arabian tribes, for the Sheikh of Mezra'a told Jum'ah 
that, when he first saw us coming, he hastened to col- 
lect his followers, with the determination of attacking us, 
and only changed his purpose when he heard him greet 
us as friends. It would have been a matter of regret had 
they fired upon us ; for, although we would most certainly 
have defeated them, there must have been blood shed, 
and it was my most earnest wish to accomplish the 
objects of the expedition without injury to a human 

P. M. Kode out upon the plain, with two Arabs on 
foot, to look for the ruins of Zoar. Pursuing a S. E. 
direction, up the peninsula, passed, first, some dhoura 
(millet) fields, the grain but a few inches above the ground 
— many of the fields yet wet from recent irrigation. 
Thence rode through many tangled thickets of cane and 
tamarisk, with occasional nubk and osher trees, and came, 
at length, upon an open space, with many large heaps of 
stones in regular rows, as if they had once formed houses. 
They were uncut, and had " never known iron ;" but 
there were no other vestiges of a building about them ; — 
so I concluded that they were the larger stones which had 
encumbered the soil, and were gathered by the fellahin. 

Proceeding a little more to the south, we came to many 
more such mounds or heaps, and, among them, to the 
foundation of a building of some size. It was in the form 
of a main building, with a smaller one before or behind 
it ; the first being a quadrangular wall, and the other in 
detached pieces, like the pedestals of columns. The 
stones were large, some of them one and a half feet in 
diameter, uncut, but roughly hewn, and fitted on each 
other with exactness, but without mortar. There were 
many minute fragments of pottery scattered about on the 
soil ; and among the rubbish I found an old hand-mortar, 
very much worn, which I brought away. The ruined 


foundation bore the marks of great antiquity; and the 
site corresponds to the one assigned by Irby and Mangles 
as that of Zoar. But I could see no columns and no other 
vestiges of ruins than what I have mentioned. 

Returning, saw the horses and mules for which we 
had sent, coming down the mountains, and waited for 
them in the plain. They were accompanied by Muham- 
med, the son of Abd'el Kadir, the Muslim Sheikh of the 
Kerakiyeh, and by Abd' Allah, the Christian sheikh of 
the Beni Khallos; the latter residing in the town of 
Kerak, the former living mostly in black tents, about 
half a mile distant from it. 

On our way to camp, Muhammed endeavoured to dis- 
play his horsemanship ; but the animal, wearied by the 
rough mountain road he had travelled, fell to the ground, 
and his rider was compelled to jump off to save himself. 
In mounting again, not finding any thing more con- 
venient, he arrogantly ordered one of the fellahin to 
stoop, and, placing his foot upon the abject creature's 
back, sprung upon his horse. 

This Muhammed is about thirty years of age, very 
short but compactly built, with a glossy, very dark- 
mahogany skin, long, coarse black hair, and a thick, black 
beard and moustache. His eye, fiery, but furtive, was 
never fixed in its gaze, but, rolling restlessly from one 
object to another, seemed rather the glare of a wild 
beast than the expression of a human eye. Altogether, 
we thought that he had the most insolent and overbearing 
countenance and manner we had ever seen. 

Abd' Allah, the Christian sheikh, about twenty years 
his senior, was a very different person ; robust in frame, 
he was mild even to meekness. In the bearing of the 
respective parties towards each other, we could read 
a long series of oppression on one side and submissive 
endurance on the other. 



They brought me a letter from 'Akll, of which the fol- 
lowing is a literal translation : — 


"By God's favour. May it reach Haditheh, and be 
delivered to the hand of the Excellency of our Beloved. 
" May God preserve him. Beduah, 1642." 


" To the Excellency of the most honourable, our dear 
friend — may the Almighty God preserve him. 

" We beg, first, to offer you our love and great desire 
to see the light of your happy countenance. We beg, 
secondly, to say that in the most happy and honourable 
time, we received your letter containing your beautiful 
discourse. We thanked, on reading it, the Almighty 
God that you are well, and ask him now, also (who is 
the most fit to ask), that we may be permitted to behold 
the light of your countenance in a fit and agreeable time. 

" The animals which you have ordered will be brought 
down to you by the Excellency of our brother chief, Mu- 
hammed Nujally, and the chief Abd' Allah en Nahas ; 
and the men necessary to guard the boats will be supplied 
by the said chiefs. 

" The reason of our delay in coming to you was the 
weakness and fatigue of our horses. The time will be, 
God willing, short before we see you. 

" This being all that is necessary, we beg you will offer 
our compliments (peace) to all those who inquire after 
us. — From this part, the Excellency of our respected 
brother, Sherif, sends you his best compliments. May 
you be kept in peace. 

" <2> Seal of 'Akll Aga el Hassee. 

" Kerak, 28 Jamad Awah." 

The boats excited much attention ; and, to gratify both 
the Christian and the Muslim Arabs, we launched one 


and pulled her a short distance out and back, some of the 
Arabs being on board ; but Muhammed, although he had 
been the loudest in expressions of wonder and incredulity, 
declined to go with them ; and I was disposed to think 
that he was a very coward after all. On returning from 
the beach, they stuck plugs of onions into their nostrils, 
to counteract the malaria they had imbibed from the sea. 
They call it " the sea accursed of God ;" and, entertaining 
the most awful fears respecting it, looked upon us as mad- 
men for remaining so long upon it. 

During the forenoon, the thermometer ranged from 86° 
to 90°. At sunset, it stood at 83°, and quite pleasant. 
Sky filled with cumulus and stratus. A little after 8 P. 
M., we heard the song sung by the tribes when about to 
meet friends or enemies ; in the first instance, a song of 
welcome ; in the last, a war-cry of defiance. The wild 
coronach was borne upon the wind, long before the party 
singing it were in sight ; but presently, fourteen mounted 
Arabs, headed by the brother of Muhammed, came 
proudly into the camp. The camp consisted of two 
boats' awnings, stretched over stakes, to screen us from 
the sun and wind. All carried a long gun and short car- 
bine, the last slung over the shoulders, except one Arab, 
a kinsman of the sheikh, who bore a spear eighteen feet 
long, with a large, round tuft of ostrich feathers just below 
the spear-head. Reining up before us, they finished their 
song, prior to dismounting or exchanging salutations. 
The war-cry of the Arabs was the only true musical sound 
we heard among them, although they frequently beguiled 
the tedious hours of a march with what they termed a 
song. The following notes, by Mr. Bedlow, will give 
some idea of their war-cry. 





These few notes are uttered in a high, shrill voice, and 
with a modulation or peculiarity bearing some affinity to 
the characteristic Yoddle of Tyrolean music. The dis- 
tance at which this strange, wild war-cry can be heard, is 
almost incredible. 

After nightfall the wind sprang up fresh from the 
northward. We made a lee by stretching one of the 
boat's awnings across, and lying upon the beach with our 
heads towards it. For myself I could not sleep. The 
conduct of Muhammed, amounting almost to impudence, 
filled me with distrust. He had come down with about 
eight men, his brother with fourteen more, and by two 
and three at a time they had been dropping in ever since, 
until, at 9 P. M., there were upwards of forty around us ; 
and, if disposed to treachery, there might be many more 
concealed within the thicket. It seemed as if Muhammed 
considered us as already in his power, and it occurred to 
me at times, that it was my duty, in order to save the 
lives for which I was responsible, to depart at once ; but 
two considerations determined me not only to remain, 
but, at all hazards, go to Kerak. The second day after 
our arrival upon this sea, I had sent 'Akll to the Arabian 
tribes to announce our coming and to make arrangements 
with them to supply us with provisions. He had, through 
great peril, and at considerable loss, made his way along 
the whole eastern coast, and as directed, announced the 
coming of a party of Americans, people from another 
world, of whom they had never heard before. I therefore 
felt that to retire now would be construed into flight, and 
the American name be ever after held in contempt by 
this people, and all who might hereafter sojourn among 
them. Moreover, to decline an invitation for which we 
had made overtures through 'Akll, might hazard his 
safety. In addition to these considerations, I felt satisfied 
that if not invigorated by bracing air, even for one day, 


many of the party would inevitably succumb ; and I pre- 
ferred the risk of an encounter with the Arabs to certain 
sickness upon the. sea, with its result, unaccomplished 

Although the wind was high, too high to take observa- 
tions of Polaris, the night was sultry; thermometer 81°, 
the dew so heavy as to filter through the awning and drop 
upon our faces. This is the second time we have experi- 
enced dew upon this sea, each time with a hot wind from 
the north. It probably betokens some atmospheric 
change. Then it was succeeded by a sirocco. We shall 
see what to-morrow will bring forth. This is our fifteenth 
night upon this sea. Towards morning the wind lulled 
and the sky became clouded and the weather cool. 

Tuesday, May 2. Cloudy. Called all hands at 4 A. M., 
and set off at 5.30, after a hurried and meagre breakfast. 
The sailors were mounted on most unpromising looking 
cradles, running lengthwise along the backs of their 
mules, while our horses were but little better caparisoned. 
At his earnest solicitation, I left behind Henry Loveland, 
seaman, who was apparently one of the least affected by 

* My misgivings were not unfounded. Just before our final departure 
from this place, the son of the Christian sheikh told us that the Muslims, 
with a concealed party amounting in all to sixty, had determined to attack 
us (of which the Christians dared not give us notice at the time), but as 
there was always an officer and two men on guard, one of them posted 
beside the blunderbuss, and I so often came out to look around, they fan- 
cied that we suspected their design, and therefore kept quiet. Armed as 
we were, the odds would have been against them. Each sailor had a car- 
bine which loaded at the breech, and could be fired with great rapidity, and 
there was attached to it a steel bayonet, three feet long, that could be 
drawn out at will ; and each one carried in his belt a pistol with a deadly 
bowie-knife attached. The officers had severally a carbine, a revolver pis- 
tol, and a sword, three of the last having pistol-barrels attached to the 
blade near the handle. I rejoice that we had no serious occasion to use 


the previous heat * To him and our Bedawin friend 
Jum'ah, who had several Arabs with him, I gave strict 
charge of the boats and all our effects. 

We were fourteen in number, besides the interpreter 
and cook. The first I believed courageous ; the latter I 
knew to be an arrant coward. Our escort consisted of 
twelve mounted Arabs and eight footmen, the rest having 
gone in advance. 

We struck directly across the plain forming the base 
or root of the peninsula, towards the lofty ragged cliffs 
which overlook it from the east, and passed many niibk 
and osher trees, and fields of dried stalks, some resem- 
bling those of the maize and others the sugar-cane. The 
Arabs said that sugar was not cultivated upon this plain ; 
but these stalks were the product of cultivation, were un- 
like the dhoura stalks, and very much resembled the 
sugar-cane. Crossing the stream which flows down the 
Wady Beni Hamad, and a number of patches of dhoura 
(millet), artificially irrigated, we passed close under a 
ruin on an elevated cliff, which overlooks the plain of 
Zoar. It seemed to be the remains of a fortalice not 
more ancient than the times of the Crusades. We would 
have given much to explore the plain and visit the ruin 
above, but circumstances forbade it. It was essential to 
inhale the mountain air as soon as possible, and equally 
important that we should keep together to guard against 
treachery. We resolved to make an exploration on our 
return, if satisfied that we could do so with safety. 

We thus far passed in succession the loose tertiaries of 
the peninsula ; some ferruginous and friable limestone, a 
yellow and shaly limestone, clay-slate, and argillaceous 

From Wady Beni Hamad we skirted along the base of 

* This man eventually suffered more from sickness, and his life was 
longer in jeopardy, than any of the rest. 


the cliffs for about two miles in a south direction, across 
the neck of the peninsula towards the S. E. inlet of the 
sea, and crossing the bed, turned up Wady Kerak, the 
steepest and most difficult path, with the wildest and 
grandest scenery we had ever beheld. On one side was a 
deep and yawning chasm, which made the head dizzy to 
look into ; on the other beetling crags, blackened by the 
tempests of ages, in shape exactly resembling the waves 
of a mighty ocean, which, at the moment of overleaping 
some lofty barrier, were suddenly changed to stone, re- 
taining, even in transformation, their dark and angry hue. 
In most places the naked rock dipped down abruptly into 
the deep and gloomy chasm, and it only required a tor- 
rent to come tumbling headlong over the rude fragments 
fallen from the cliffs above to complete the sublimity of 
the scene. Nor was it wanting. 

When we first started, it was so cloudy that we congra- 
tulated ourselves upon the prospect of a cool and pleasant 
instead of a sultry ride. While passing under the ruin, 
it began to rain lightly but steadily. Before we had half 
ascended the pass, however, there came a shout of thunder 
from the dense cloud which had gathered at the summit 
of the gorge, followed by a rain, compared to which, the 
gentle showers of our more favoured clime are as dew- 
drops to the overflowing cistern. Except the slight 
shower at the Pilgrim's Ford, this was the first since we 
landed in Syria. The black and threatening cloud soon 
enveloped the mountain-tops, the lightning playing across 
it in incessant flashes, while the loud thunder rever- 
berated from side to side of the appalling chasm. Between 
the peals we soon heard a roaring and continuous sound. 
It was the torrent from the rain cloud, sweeping in a long 
line of foam down the steep declivity, bearing along huge 
fragments of rocks, which, striking against each other, 
sounded like mimic thunder. In one spot, where the 


torrent made its maddest leap, a single palm-tree, bent 
by the blast, waved its branches wildly above the gorge, 
seeming to the imagination like the genius of the place 
bewailing the devastation of its favoured haunt. During 
the whole of this storm, our rugged path led along the 
face of a steep precipice looking into the dark grandeur 
of the chasm beneath. It was a wild, a terrific, but a 
glorious sight! 

" It more stirs the blood 
To rouse a lion than to start a hare j" 

and I rejoiced to witness this elemental strife amid these 
lofty mountains. How much more exciting and sublime 
than anything a monotonous plain presents ! I have 
skirted the base of Etna, clothed in the luxuriant verdure 
of a favoured clime, and looked upon its summit, wreathed 
in a mantle of perpetual snow, while the smoke from its 
crater gracefully curled above it. I have clambered the 
cone of Vesuvius by nightfall, and looked over its brink 
into the fiery caldron beneath ; and in a thunder-storm, I 
once launched a boat at the foot of Niagara, and rocking 
in the foam of its cataract, marked with delight the 
myriads of gems, of every hue and radiance, reflected in 
the misty vapour at each successive flash ; but I never 
beheld a scene in sublimity equal to the present one. 

A meandering river and a fertile plain, with their ac- 
companiments, luxuriant foliage and fragrant odours, in- 
terspersed with scenes of domestic peace, captivate the 
eye and delight the senses. But the boundless ocean or 
sky-piercing mountains are necessary to the grandeur of 
sublimity ; to embody, as it were, to the mind, and enable 
it to realize the presence of a great Being — great in all 
things, — but seeming to us most potent when either the 
" live thunder" leaps from cliff to cliff, or " He rides upon 
the wings of the mighty wind" across the illimitable 

30* x 


The storm gradually subsided; the cloud which had 
enveloped the mountain-tops and spread itself far down 
the chasm, gathered its misty folds and was swept by 
degrees over the crest towards the desert of Arabia ; — to 
refresh, perchance, the arid plains from its yet copious 

At 9.15, bending a little from the ridge to the south, 
we passed a small stream, trickling down in a N. E. course 
towards the wady. Like the torrent, the stream was 
doubtless the creation of the shower. The general im- 
pression that there is a perpetual stream down the Wady 
Kerak, is an erroneous one. The Kerakiyeh tell us that 
it has only water in the rainy season, and for a short 
period, at other times, after storms like the one which 
had just passed over. When we crossed the foot of the 
ravine, there was no water in it; but quite a considerable 
stream in the Wady Beni Hamad, whence the plain 
around Mezra'a is irrigated. Except the lone palm, we 
had not seen a tree or shrub since we turned up the side 
of the ravine ; but all along our zigzag path, the wildest 
rocks, bare, black, and contorted, presented themselves in 
detached fragments, and in wondrous strata, — mountain- 
sides tumbled down, perpendicular crags, and deep chasms. 

At 9.25, while passing along the edge of a sheer preci- 
pice, the weather partly cleared up, and gave us a terrific 
view down the ravine ; it pained the eye to look into its 
dizzy depths. 

At 9.45, stopped to rest at a small spring of pure water, 
which gushed out of a hill-side. The elements were 
not yet entirely hushed, the wind sweeping down the 
ravine in occasional gusts. Here the Kerakiyeh amused 
themselves by firing at a mark. Approaching to pistol- 
shot distance, and taking rest with their long guns, they 
rarely hit the mark. Their powder was so indifferent, that 
one of our sailors contemptuously remarked that a gazelle 


could run a mile between the flash and the report. They 
were perfectly astonished at the execution of our rifle. 

At 10.30, started again, the road leading upon a wide 
terrace over the valley ; the terrace here and there was 
almost blocked up by huge fragments, severed from the 
cliffs above, many of them, also, lying in every possible 
position in the valley beneath. Several of these blocks, 
and many places in the mountain-side, were hollowed out, 
sufficient in some places to shelter many persons. These 
old limestone-rocks are worn into caverns, arches, and 
the resemblance of houses ; an isolated block was exactly 
like a thatched, moss-grown cottage. One of these may 
be the cave where Lot and his two daughters dwelt. 
About two-thirds up, we saw some of the retem, or broom 
plant,* many purple hollyhocks, and, shortly after, some 
oleanders. The last, which were in full bloom high up 
the Jordan, and in the plain below, were in this lofty 
region just beginning to bloom. We saw some partridges, 
hawks, and many doves; also much of the scarlet ane- 
mone, and a blue flower resembling the convolvulus. 

At 11.30, the sides and bottom of the ravine betokened 
some slight cultivation ; here and there was a small patch 
of wheat, and higher up there were a few olive-trees. 
Gradually, these appearances became more frequent ; the 
patches of wheat were larger, and the olive in occasional 
groves ; sometimes, too, there was a fig-tree, its green 
more refreshing to the eye than the tawny hue of the 
olive. When we thought that we were upon the town, 
we found that we had yet a long, steep hill to clamber up. 
Here we came to a fork; the main bed of the ravine 
coming down from the east, and another, broad and steep, 

* This plant, elsewhere a bush, is here quite large ; and it is supposed 
that it was under a retem, instead of a juniper-tree, that Isaiah took shelter 
in the desert. 


from the south-east, with the walled town of Kerak, upon 
the crown of the hill, overlooking both. We skirted the 
last ravine, leaving on the left a walled-in fountain and 
luxuriant olive-groves, and continued ascending, for half 
an hour ; an extensive pile of ruins in sight at the S. W. 
extremity of the town, and a lofty square quadrangular 
tower at the N. W. angle of its wall. Looking back, our 
cavalcade presented a singular sight, winding up the steep 
and sinuous path. After leaving the peninsula, and turn- 
ing up the precipitous path along the Wady Kerak, we 
met with fossiliferous limestone, and the rock continued 
calcareous all the way to Kerak. 

At 12.40, came upon the brow of the hill (3000 feet 
above the Dead Sea) at the north-east angle of the town. 
Instead of a richly cultivated country, there was before 
us a high, rolling plain, the grass withered, and the grain 
blighted by the sirocco and the locust. Turning to the 
north, we passed along the wall, then under the tower, 
built of flesh-coloured, consolidated limestone, and along 
the face of the western wall for about 150 yards, when, 
turning abruptly, we entered an arch cut through the 
rock, about thirty feet high and twelve wide. Over the 
gateway was a partly effaced Arabic inscription, recording 
the building, or repair, of the walls. The passage had 
two turns, and was about eighty feet long. From it, we 
emerged into the town, — a collection of stone huts, built 
without mortar. They are from seven to eight feet high; 
the ground-floors about six feet below, and the flat-terrace 
mud-roofs mostly about two feet above, the streets ; but 
in many places there were short cuts, from street to street, 
across the roofs of the houses. The people were assem- 
bled on the dirt-heaps and mud-roofs to see us pass. We 
were escorted to the council-house, which is also the 
Christian school-room, the same in which Irby and Man- 
gles, the only Franks who, as Franks, had preceded us 


since the Crusades, were lodged thirty years ago. Below, 
was a work-room, and ours was a room for all purposes. 
Opposite, was a Christian church under construction. Its 
walls, now about twelve feet high, measured seventy-four 
by forty feet, and there were pedestals laid for six pillars. 

Our room had nothing whatever, except the bare stone 
floor beneath ; the rafters supporting the mud roof above ; 
two windows without glass or shutters, and a crazy door 
without a fastening. Assigning one side to the men, and 
taking the adjoining one for ourselves, we left the other 
two for the Arabs, who flocked in crowds to look upon us. 
From some cause they did not furnish a sheep, although 
there were hundreds in the vicinity. 

Through the exertions of the priest and Abd' Allah, the 
Christian sheikh, we procured some eggs, and, after a 
scanty breakfast and a hard ride, our dinner consisted of 
three eggs each. 

Determined, at all hazards, to see the place, we went 
out by turns. We found but one shop, and the only 
articles for sale were thin cakes of dried and pressed 
apricots, and English muslin ! 

The houses, or rather huts, without windows and with- 
out chimneys, were blackened inside by smoke ; and the 
women and children were squalid and filthy. Kerak con- 
tains a population of about 300 families, three-fourths 
Christian. By paying an annual tribute, and submitting 
to occasional exactions, the latter live amicably with the 
powerful trfte of Kerakiyeh, whose encampment is a 
short distance without the walls. The latter are so 
averse to houses, that some, then on a visit to the town, 
had pitched their tents in the yards of vacant dwellings. 

The Muslim inhabitants are wild-looking savages, but 
the Christians have a milder expression. The males 
mostly wear sheepskin coats ; the women, dark-coloured 
gowns ; the Christian females did not conceal their faces, 


which were tattooed like the South-Sea islanders. The 
priest, in his black turban and subdued countenance, 
acted as our cicerone. He took us to his little church, a 
low, dark, vaulted room, containing a picture of St. 
George fighting the Dragon.; two half columns of red 
granite from the ruins of the castle, and a well of cool 
water in the centre. 

The castle, partly cut out of, and partly built upon, the 
mountain-top, presents the remains of a magnificent struc- 
ture ; its citadel cut off from the town by a ditch-ravine. 
It seems to be Saracenic, although in various parts it has 
both the pointed Gothic and the rounded Koman arch. 
A steep glacis-wall skirts the whole. The walls, now 
partly standing, are composed of heavy, well-cut stones ; 
and there were seven arched store-houses, one above the 
other, with narrow slits for defence. The part used as 
the chapel was evidently built in the times of the cru- 
sades ; and the east end, where the altar stood, was least 
demolished ; for these buildings have been devastated by 
the hand of man. Maundrell has remarked that in all 
the ruined churches he saw, the part appropriated to the 
altar was ever in the best state of preservation ; — which 
he is at a loss whether to ascribe to bribery on the part 
of the Christians, to a lingering reverence in the minds 
of the Turks, or to miraculous interposition. Against the 
walls were pilasters and parts of columns with sculptured 
ornaments, and upon the ceiling were traces of fresco paint- 
ing, among them one of a female saint. In one place, the 
pavement had been dug up by the present Christian 
inhabitants of Kerak for paving-slabs for their new 
church. The vast extent of this magnificent castle filled 
us with astonishment. It has five gates and seven wells 
and cisterns, and the whole summit is perforated by sub- 
terranean passages. From the narrow embrasures of the 
vaulted chambers we looked down into the ravine, green 


with fields of grain and grass, and the shrubbery of olean- 
ders, and upon part of the sea in the distance. 

We also visited the structure at the N. W. angle, under 
which we had passed before entering the arched gateway 
of the town. It seemed, also, to be Saracenic, with the 
remains of a handsome cornice. 

Keturning, we passed through the burial-ground, each 
grave indicated by a double line of rude, unsculptured 

We procured here some of the wheat, which, it is said, 
retains the prolific quality attributed to it in the Bible. 
We saw and heard nothing of the immense grapes, " like 
those brought back by the Hebrew spies," spoken of by 
Laborde. The harvests had been swept, the last seven 
years, by the locusts and the sirocco ; the last occurring 
two or three times a month. 

P. M., held a long conversation with 'Akil as to the 
possibility of proceeding, by land, to Wady es Safieh, and 
its luxuriant delta, at the S. E. extremity of the sea. He 
thought it impracticable. He said that the southern 
tribes were in a great state of excitement, and were all 
coming up ; while those along the coast were gathering 
together, and that a general outbreak might be expected. 
The Beni 'Adwans and Beni Siikrs having already begun 
hostilities. He could assign no other reason for this than 
that the grain would soon be gathered by the fellahin, 
and the Bedawin were preparing to sweep it off, each 
tribe from a district remote from its own, 

In some respects 'Akil was mysterious ; and, at first, I 
could not comprehend the hints he threw out. His object 
seemed to be to ascertain whether, under any circum- 
stances, we would aid an association of the tribes in an 
avowed object. I would not press him for an explana- 
tion, but merely told him that, if he had been captured 
and detained while coming round in our service, we would 


have felt it our duty to have left every thing else and 
hasten to his assistance ; that I would endeavour to have 
him remunerated for what he had lost while acting for 
us ; but we could take no part in their petty wars. I 
half suspected that this barbarian, the most winning and 
graceful one we had ever seen, generous, brave, and uni- 
versally loved or feared, contemplated a union of the 
tribes for the purpose of throwing off the thraldom, here 
almost nominal, of the Turkish yoke, and establishing a 
sovereignty for himself. Exceedingly affable to all, he 
was more reserved and taciturn than his noisy country- 
men, and was often absorbed in thought. Having once 
reaped profit from rebellion, he might then have been 
weighing the chances of a bolder speculation. He could 
not rely much on our party, but might hope that if we 
were involved our country would sustain us. He little 
knew how severely, and how justly, too, we should be cen- 
sured at home if we became voluntarily embroiled either 
with the tribes or the Turkish government. If he had 
attempted a rebellion, he would have assuredly failed. 
The elements were too discordant. The antipathies 
between the highland Gael and the southron, of the 
Scottish border, were not more inveterate than the hostile 
feeling existing between many of the tribes. With some 
it is the feud of blood, transmitted from generation to 
generation with increasing rancour. Yet their God is 
gold, and fifty well-armed, resolute Franks, with a large 
sum of money, could revolutionize the whole country. 
The presence of ' Akil was of great service to us ; and but 
for him we should have come in collision with this rude 

The Christians were as kind and obliging as the Mus- 
lims were insolent. In order, as he told me, to secure 
the good behaviour of the Kerakiyeh, 'Akil brought with 
him the young prince of the Beni Siikrs, a powerful tribe, 


of whom even these fierce Arabs stood in awe. The 
Beni Sukr wore his hair in ringlets, like a girl ; but we 
were told that he behaved gallantly in the fight. 

To avoid another encounter with the Beni 'Adwans, on 
his return, 'Akil purposed providing his small party with 
sufficient flour and water for five or six days' subsistence, 
and to strike into the desert, in a direct east course, for 
a ruined khan, on the Great Hadj, or pilgrim route from 
Damascus to Mecca. Thence he would proceed north, 
still keeping east of the Jordan, until he reached the 
vicinity of the Sea of Galilee. 

It being absolutely impossible to ascend the Jordan 
with the boats, I gave 'Akil a note for Mr. Wiseman, at 
Tiberias, directing the trucks, &c, we had left in his 
charge, to be sent to Acre. 

Our trip here exhibited the Arab character in a new 
light. From the first, the manner of Muhammed had been 
imperious and insolent ; and his father, whom he seemed 
to rule, had neither invited us to his tents nor contri- 
buted, in the slightest degree, to our comfort. The reason 
was because we did not make them a large present. 
According to the arrangement with 'Akil, he was to pay 
for all that we might require ; and I held to the course 
we had heretofore pursued, of making no presents, except 
for kindness or for services rendered. Muhammed, growl- 
ing, said that he wanted cloaks, a double-barrelled gun, a 
watch, &c, that other Franks, coming up from Egypt, 
gave them. — Where did we come from, thus out of the 
sea ? For the whole day the room had been crowded ; 
the doorway, sometimes, blocked up. It seemed to be 
regarded by them in the light of a menagerie. 

When, at length, they left us to ourselves, for the first 

time, in twenty-three days, we laid down beneath a roof, 

having first enjoyed the unwonted luxury of a draught 

of sweet milk. Placing a board against the door, that its 



fall might rouse us at an attempted entrance, we laid 
down with our arms in our hands, with a feeling of uncer- 
tainty as to what the morrow might bring forth; for 
although ' Akil was there, he had but four followers, one 
of them wounded ; whereas the Kerakiyeh could muster 
700 fighting men. Our belief was, that although the 
Christians might not dare to side with us, yet, so far from 
acting in combination against us, they would give us 
timely warning. At all hazards, we wished to impress 
upon these people that we would do nothing which could 
be construed into the appearance, even, of purchasing 
forbearance. Were we private travellers, the case would 
be different; but the time has long past when, even 
through its meanest representative, our government will 
consent to pay for forbearance from any quarter. 

In the course of a long conversation, to-night, Abd' 
Allah gave us a history of the condition and prospects of 
the Christians of Kerak. He said that there were from 
900 to 1000 Christians here, comprising three-fourths of 
the population. They could muster a little over 200 
fighting men ; but are kept in subjection by the Muslim 
Arabs, living mostly in tents, without the town. He 
stated that they are, in every manner, imposed upon. If 
a Muslim comes to the town, instead of going to the 
house of another Muslim, he quarters himself upon a 
Christian, and appropriates the best of every thing : 
that Christian families have been two days at a time 
without food — all that they had being consumed by their 
self-invited guests. If a Muslim sheikh buys a horse for 
so many sheep, he makes the Christians contribute until 
the number be made up. Their property, he said, is seized 
at will, without there being any one to whom to appeal ; 
and remonstrance, on their part, only makes it worse. 

Already a great many have been driven away ; poverty 
alone keeping the remainder. They have commenced 


building a church, in the hope of keeping all together, and 
as a safe place of refuge for their wives and children, in 
times of trouble ; but the locusts and the sirocco have for 
the last seven years blasted the fields, and nearly all 
spared by them has been swept by the Muslims. They 
gave me the following appeal to the Christians in our 
more happy land, which I promised to make known. 
The following is a literal translation : — 

" By God's favour ! 

" May it, God willing ! reach America, and be presented 
to our Christian brothers, — whose happiness may the 
Almighty God preserve ! Amen ! 

"8642. Beduah. 

"We are, in Kerak, a few very poor Christians, and 
are building a church. 

"We beg your excellency to help us in this under- 
taking, for we are very weak. 

" The land has been unproductive, and visited by the 
locusts, for the last seven years. 

" The church is delayed in not being accomplished, for 
want of funds, for we are a few Christians, surrounded 
by Muslims. 

" This being all that is necessary to write to you, Chris- 
tian brothers of America, we need say no more. 
" The trustees in your bounty, 

"Abd' Allah en Nahas, Sheikh, 
"Yakob en Nahas, Sheikh's brother. 

"Kerak, Jamad Awah, 1264." 

Wednesday, May 3. It was exceedingly cold last night, 
the north wind whistling through the casement with a 
familiar sound of home. We all concurred in the opinion, 
that for comfort, the sea-beach would have been a prefer- 
able couch, the fleas having tormented us through the 


night. Notwithstanding our disturbed slumbers, how- 
ever, we did not feel as debilitated as heretofore on rising 
from sounder sleep. The exercise of riding and the 
variety of scenery through which we yesterday passed, 
were of service, and the air was much cooler and more 
invigorating than below. 

We rose early, and breakfasted on eggs and rice. 
Shortly after, Muhammed came in, very surly ; I refused 
to converse with him, but referred him to 'Akil, whom I 
had commissioned to procure the horses and make the 
necessary purchases for us. We would have liked to re- 
main another day for the benefit of the mountain air and 
to make some examination of the neighbourhood ; but we 
were unanimously of opinion that it would be unsafe, 
the prospect of difficulty with this insolent people increas- 
ing with the lapse of every hour. While we made pre- 
parations for our departure in the room above, the Arabs 
were in consultation beneath the window, Muhammed 
and several of his tribe gesticulating violently. But 
'Akil and the Beni Sukr prince were there, and we knew 
that they would stand by us. After much difficulty, our 
horses were procured. As we were about starting, Mu- 
hammed again demanded a backshish, which was refused. 
He then said that he would not go down with us, and 
sneeringly asked what we should do if we found one hun- 
dred men in our path. We replied that we would take 
care of ourselves. I longed to seize him and carry him 
with us by force as a hostage, but he was surrounded by 
too many armed and scowling Arabs. 

We started at 6.30 A. M., in battle array, our carbines 
unslung, and everything ready for immediate use. The 
Christian sheikh, the kind old man, although he made 
enemies by doing so, accompanied us, and three or four 
footmen journeyed along, without absolutely mingling 
with us. Muhammed, almost furious, remained behind. 


I had noted well the ground the day before, and knew 
that there was no place above the plain where an attack 
could be advantageously made. My greatest fear, con- 
curred in by the Christian sheikh, was that any one lagging 
behind would be cut off. Giving to Mr. Dale, therefore, 
who ably seconded me, the charge of the front, I kept 
with the rear. We had scarce left the town a mile, before 
Muhammed, black and surly, with some horsemen, over- 
took us. I was never more delighted in my life, for we 
had now the game in our own hands. Instantly detach- 
ing an officer and one of our most trusty men, I directed 
them to keep by him without regard to his companions, 
and shoot him at the first sign of flight or treachery. 

It was some time before Muhammed realized that he 
was a prisoner ; but observing that whether he rode ahead 
or tarried behind, he had ever the same companions, and 
that if he stopped, the march was arrested, and the whole 
party stopped also, the truth flashed upon him ; and from 
being insolent and overbearing, he became first respectful 
and then submissive. 

The march was delayed at one time by an unmanage- 
able mule. He would not permit the sailor, who had 
slipped off, to remount, until the latter assumed the koo- 
feyeh and aba of a friendly Arab. We saw a great many 
black and white storks, in companies, and some black 
centipedes and grasshoppers. 

At 10.15, came in sight of the sea, its surface covered 
by a thin mist, the garment in which it is ever wreathed 
during the heat of the day. The weather became warmer 
and warmer as we descended, — the torrent bed of the 
ravine (Wady Kerak) perfectly dry. 

As we approached the plain, I placed myself beside 

Muhammed to watch him more narrowly. By this time, 

all but two or three of his followers had ridden ahead 

and left us. When he first joined us he had demanded a 



watch, then a double-barrelled gun, and a number of arti- 
cles in succession ; but when he saw that we held him as 
a hostage for the good behaviour of his tribe, he changed 
his tone. About an hour before reaching the shore, we 
stopped fifteen minutes to breathe the horses. When we 
were about to remount, he had become so much humbled, 
that perceiving my saddle-girth loose, he hastened for- 
ward and drew it tight for me. In the morning he would 
have cut my throat rather than perform such a menial 

At 1.30, issuing from the thicket upon the beach, we 
were gladdened with the sight of our boats, lying as 
secure as we had left them. We launched them and 
made preparations for immediate departure. There was 
nothing longer to detain us, and we surmised that, per- 
haps the Arab horsemen who left us had gone to join 
others concealed in the plain. At the instance of Abd' 
Allah, the Christian sheikh, I wrote to 'Akll by Friday, 
requesting him to protect the Christian Arabs against the 
Kerakiyeh ; and in order to enlist the Beni Sukr prince in 
the same cause, I sent him a richly ornamented aba. 

Burckhardt, and Irby and Mangles, were kindly received 
in Kerak; but the first spoke the language, and came dis- 
guised as an Arab, and the two last had a letter of intro- 
duction to the Muslim Sheikh of Kerak, given to them 
by the Sheikh of Hebron, without which, they intimated 
that their reception would have been a cold one. They 
had to pay down four hundred piastres (equal to 1600 
now), and on the second day of their journey, while yet 
under the protection of the Sheikh of Kerak, one hun- 
dred and fifty (equal to 600 piastres) more were exacted. 
From Burckhardt, who had assumed the garb of a poor 
man, all was extorted that it was thought he could afford 
£o pay. Seetzen was robbed by some of the tribe before 
he entered Kerak. 


Everything being prepared, I had taken leave of Abd' 
Allah, after making him a present, and was about stepping 
into the boat without saying anything to Muhammed, 
when he sprang forward, and, taking my hand, begged 
for some gun-caps. But I refused; for had they been 
given, perhaps the first use made of them would have 
been against a Christian. Getting into the boat, there- 
fore, we shoved off, and left him standing upon the shore. 
Thus far, these were the only Arabs from whom we had 
experienced rudeness. 



We started, at 1.55 P. M., with a light breeze from the 
south, and steered down the bay, along the coast, towards 
Wady Mojeb, the river Arnon of the Old Testament. 
The shore presented the barren aspect of lofty perpen- 
dicular cliffs of red sandstone, and here and there a ravine 
with patches of cane, indicating that water was, or had 
recently been, there. 

At 4.45, passed a date-palm-tree and some canes, their 
tops withered, at the foot of a dry ravine ; soon after, saw 
an arch, twenty feet from the water, spanning a chasm 
twelve feet wide. The mountains of red sandstone were 
beautifully variegated with yellow and capped by high 
cliffs of white in the background. At 5.25, stopped for 
the night in a beautiful cove on the south side of the 
delta, through which, its own formation, the Arnon flows 
to the sea. The stream, now eighty-two feet wide and 


four deep, runs through a chasm ninety-seven feet wide, 
formed by high, perpendicular cliffs of red, brown, and 
yellow sandstone, mixed red and yellow on the southern 
side, and on the north, a soft, rich red, — all worn by the 
winter rains into the most fantastic forms, not unlike 
Egyptian architecture. It was difficult to realize that 
some were not the work of art. 

The chasm runs up in a direct line for 150 yards, then 
turns, with a slow and graceful curve, to the south-east. 
In the deepest part, within the chasm, the river did not 
at that time exceed four feet in depth ; but after passing 
through the delta, narrowing in its course, it is ten feet 
deep, but quite narrow at the mouth. We saw here 
tracks of camels, and marks of an Arab encampment. 
There must be some passage down the ravine, the sides 
of which seemed so precipitous. There were castor-beans, 
tamarisks, and canes, along the course of the stream from 
the chasm to the sea. Fired a pistol up the chasm; 
the report reverberated finely against the perpendicular 
sides. Walked and waded up some distance, and found 
the passage of the same uniform width, turning every 
150 or 200 yards gradually to the south-east. Observed 
a dead gazelle, and saw the tracks of gazelles and of wild 
beasts, but could only identify those of the tiger. The 
report of a gun, which we fired, reverberating like loud 
and long-continued peals of thunder, startled many birds. 
The highest summit of the inner cliffs, north of the 
chasm, were yellow limestone. Saw a large brown vul- 
ture, its beak strong with two denticulations. After 
bathing in the cool, refreshing stream, and supping on 
rice and tea, we spread our awnings upon the beach, and 
slept soundly under the bright stars. At midnight, ther- 
mometer 78°, wind N. W., and very cold. George Over- 
stock, one of the seamen, had a chill this day. We feared 
that the fever which had heretofore attacked all who had 



ventured upon this sea was about to make its appearance. 
It was to a city, "in the border of Arnon," to which 
Belak, king of the Moabites, came to meet Balaam. 
From the Arnon to the Jabbok, " which is the border of 
the children Ammon," was the land given to the tribes 
of Reuben and Gad. 

Thursday, May 4. A warm, but pleasant morning. 
Overstock better, but I feared the recurrence of his chill 
the next day. Started at 6.50, after filling the water- 
breakers. As we were shoving off, heard voices and two 
gun-shots in the cliffs above, but could see nothing. Sent 
Mr. Dale, in the Fanny Skinner, to sound across to Ain 
Turabeh. Our course was northwardly, parallel with, 
and a short distance from, the Arabian shore, sketching 
the topography as we passed. It presented the same 
lofty, rugged, brown parched hills as heretofore. At 8.40, 
a beautiful little stream, along the banks of which were 
twenty-nine date-palm-trees, in groups of two or three, — 
a grateful relief to the monotonous and dreary hue of the 
mountains and the sea. 

At 9, we passed a stream which was visible, in a long 
white line, from the summit to the sea, into which it 
plunged, a tiny, but foaming cataract. Its whole course 
was fringed with shrubbery, and its brawling noise was 
distinctly heard. 

At 10.37, stopped to examine some huge, black boul- 
ders, lying confusedly upon the shore, which proved to 
be trap interspersed with tufa. The whole mountain, 
from base to summit, appeared one black mass of scoriae 
and lava, the superposition of the layers giving them a 
singular appearance. In the rocky hollows of the shore 
were incrustations of salt, of which, as well as of the lava, 
we procured specimens. 

At 10.50, started again, — the scenery grand and wild; 
wherever there was a rivulet, lines of green cane and 



tamarisk, and an occasional date-palm-tree, marked its 
course : a fine breeze from the southward. At 12.20, 
stopped in a cove formed by the Zerka main, the outlet 
of the hot springs of Callirohoe. The stream, twelve 
feet wide and ten inches deep, rushes, in a southerly 
direction, with great velocity, into the sea. Temperature 
of the air, 77°; of the sea, 78° ; of the stream, 94°; one 
mile up the chasm, 95°. It was a little sulphureous to 
the taste. The stream has worn its bed through the 
rock, and flows between the perpendicular sides of the 
chasm, and through the delta, bending to the south, about 
two furlongs, to the sea. The banks of the stream, along 
the delta, are fringed with canes, tamarisks, and the castor- 
bean. The chasm is 122 feet wide at the mouth ; and, 
for one mile up, as far as we traced it, does not lessen in 
width. The sides of the chasm are about eighty feet 
high, where it opens upon the delta ; but within they rise 
in altitude to upwards of 150 feet on each side, where the 
trap formation is exhibited. In the bed of the chasm, there 
was one stream, on the south side, eight feet wide and two 
deep, and two small streams in the centre, all rushing 
down at the rate of six knots per hour. There were no 
boulders in the bed of the ravine, which, in the winter, 
must, throughout its width, and high up the sides, pour 
down an impetuous flood. The walls of the chasm are 
lofty and perpendicular, of red and yellow sandstone, 
equally majestic and imposing, but not worn in such fan- 
tastic shapes, nor of so rich a hue, as those of the Arnon. 
Waded up about a mile, and saw a few date-palm-trees, 
growing in the chasm. The turns, about 200 yards 
apart, at first gently rounded, but subsequently sharp and 
angular. There was a succession of rapids, and a cascade 
of four, and a perpendicular fall of five or six feet. A 
little above the rapid, trap shows over sandstone. The 
current was so strong that, while bathing, I could not, with 


my feet against a rock, keep from being carried down the 
stream ; and, walking where it was but two feet deep, 
could, with difficulty, retain a foothold with my shoes off. 
There were many incrustations of lime, and some tufa. In 
the loneliest part of the chasms, nearly trod upon a spar- 
row before it flew away. Had this been a settled country, 
the wee thing would not have been ignorant that, in mere 
wantonness, man is its greatest enemy. Saw a white 
butterfly, some snipes and brown hawks, and gathered 
some heliotrope (heliotropum Europeum), which was 
scentless, and a beautiful purple flower, star-shaped, five 
petals, calix and seed-stalk a delicate yellow. Pulled up a 
species of willow by the roots, in the hope of preserving it. 

At 7 P. M., bathed first in the sea and afterwards in 
the stream ; a most delicious transition from the dense, 
acrid water of the sea, which made our innumerable sores 
smart severely; to the soft, tepid and refreshing waters 
of Callirohoe. 

The water of the sea was very buoyant ; — with great 
difficulty, I kept my feet down ; and when I laid upon my 
back, and, drawing up my knees, placed my hands upon 
them, I rolled immediately over. 

At 8 P. M., we had half a cup of tea each, to which we 
were limited from scarcity of sugar, and slept upon the 
gravel until 2 A. M. 

There was a large fire on the western shore, in the 
direction of Feshkhah. Quite cool in the night ; ther- 
mometer ranging from 70° to 68°. The great number 
submitted cheerfully to privation, but a few looked dis- 
contented at our scanty fare. This selfishness was painful 
to witness. If ever there was an occasion requiring a 
total exemption from it, this was surely one. In low 
minds this trait betrays itself in matters of the stomach 
and the purse; in those less sordid, but equally unge- 
nerous, in the gratification of sensual love ; and, in minds 


more aspiring, but no less unrestrained by principle, in 
matters of ambition. Esau sold his birthright for a mess 
of pottage ; and, for a few pieces of silver, the reprobate 
sold his heavenly Master : Charles II., instead of fervent 
thankfulness, spent the first hours of his restoration in 
seducing an unhappy lady of his court; and Napoleon 
never hesitated to sacrifice a friend on the altar of his 



Friday, May 5. Rose at 2 A. M. Fresh wind from 
the north ; air quite chilly, and the warmth of the fire 
agreeable. It was this contrast which made the heat of 
the day so very oppressive. Everything was still and 
quiet, save the wind, and the surf breaking upon the 
shore. I had purposed visiting the ruins of Machaerus, 
upon this singular hot- water stream, and to have exca- 
vated one of the ancient tombs mentioned in the Itinerary 
of Irby and Mangles, the most unpretending, and one of 
the most accurate narratives I have ever read ; but the 
increasing heat of the sun, and the lassitude of the party, 
warned me to lose no time. 

In his description of the fortress of Machaerus, rebuilt 
by Herod, Josephus says, " It was also so contrived by 
nature that it could not be easily ascended ; for it is, as it 
were, ditched about with such valleys on all sides, and to 
such a depth that the eye cannot reach their bottoms, and 


such as are not easily to be passed over, and even such as 
it is impossible to fill up with earth ; for that valley which 
cuts it off on the west extends to threescore furlongs, and 
did not end till it came to the Lake Asphaltites ; on the 
same side it was, also, that Machaerus had the tallest top 
of its hill elevated above the rest." 

Speaking of the fountains, his words are, " Here are, 
also, fountains of hot water that flow out of this place, 
which have a very different taste one from the other ; for 
some of them are bitter, and others of them are plainly 
sweet. Here are, also, many eruptions of cold waters ; 
and this not only in the places that lie lower and have 
their fountains near one another, but what is still more 
wonderful, here is to be seen a certain cave hard by, 
whose cavity is not deep, but it is covered over by a rock 
that is prominent ; above this rock there stand up two 
(hills or) breasts, as it were, but a little distant from one 
another, the one of which sends out a fountain that is 
very cold, and the other sends out one that is very hot ; 
which waters, when they are mingled together, compose 
a most pleasant bath ; they are medicinal, indeed, for 
other maladies, but especially good for strengthening the 
nerves. This place has in it, also, mines of sulphur and 

At 2.45, called the cook to prepare our breakfast. At 
3.40, called all hands, and having 
" Broke our fast, 
Like gentlemen of Beauce," 

started to sound across to Ain Turabeh, thus making a 
straight line to intersect the diagonal one of yesterday. 
Two furlongs from the land, the soundings were twenty- 
three fathoms (138 feet). The next cast, five minutes 
after, 174 (1044 feet), gradually deepening to 218 
fathoms (1308 feet) ; the bottom, soft, brown mud, with 
rectangular crystals of salt. At 8 A. M., met the Fanny 


Skinner. Put Mr. Aulick, with Dr. Anderson, in her ; 
also the cook, and some provisions, and directed him to 
complete the topography of the Arabian shore, and deter- 
mine the position of the mouth of the Jordan ; and, as 
he crossed over, to sound again in an indicated spot. 
Made a series of experiments with the self-registering 
thermometer, on our way, in the Fanny Mason, to Ain 
Turabeh. At the depth of 174 fathoms (1044 feet), the 
temperature of the water was 62° ; at the surface, imme- 
diately above it, 76°. There was an interruption to the 
gradual decrease of temperature, and at ten fathoms there 
was a stratum of cold water, the temperature, 59°. With 
that exception, the diminution was gradual. The increase 
of temperature below ten fathoms may, perhaps, be attri- 
butable to heat being evolved in the process of crys- 
talization. Procured some of the water brought up from 
195 fathoms, and preserved it in a bottle. The morning 
intensely hot, not a breath of air stirring, and a mist 
over the surface of the water, which looked stagnant and 

At 10.30, we were greeted with the sight of the green 
fringe of Ain Turabeh, dotted with our snow-white tents, 
in charge of the good old Sherif. Sent two Arabs to meet 
Mr. Aulick, at the mouth of the Jordan. Sherif had 
heard of the fight between 'Akll and his friends with the 
Beni 'Adwans ; we learned from him that several of the 
Beni Sukrs had since died of their wounds, and that the 
whole tribe had suffered severely. 

Beconnoitred the pass over this place, to see if it would 
be practicable to carry up the level. It proved very steep 
and difficult, but those at 'Ain Feshkhah and Ain Jidy 
are yet more so ; and, after consultation with Mr. Dale, 
determined to attempt the present one. Made arrange- 
ments for camels, to transport the boats across to the 
Mediterranean. The weather very warm. 


Saturday, May 6. A warm but not oppressive morning; 
the same mist over the sea ; the same wild and awful 
aspect of the overhanging cliffs. Commenced taking the 
copper boat apart, and to level up this difficult pass. To 
Mr. Dale, as fully competent, I assigned this task. With 
five men and an assistant, he laboured up six hundred 
feet, but with great difficulty. 

At 9 A. M., thermometer, in the shade, 100° ; the 
sky curtained with thin, misty clouds. At 11 A. M., 
Mr. Aulick returned, having completed the topography 
of the shore, and taken observations and bearings at the 
mouth of the Jordan. Dr. Anderson had collected many 
specimens in the geological department. The exploration 
of this sea was now complete. Sent Mr. Aulick out 
again, in the iron boat, to make experiments with the 
self-registering thermometer, at various depths; the 
result the same as yesterday and the day previous, the 
coldest stratum being at ten fathoms. Light, flickering 
airs, and very sultry during the night. 

Sunday, May 7. This day was given to rest. The 
weather during the morning was exceedingly sultry and 
oppressive. At 8.30, thermometer 106°. The clouds 
were motionless, the sea unruffled, the rugged faces of the 
rocks without a shadow, and the canes and tamarisks 
around the fountain drooped their heads towards the only 
element which could sustain them under the smiting 
heat. The Sherif slept in his tent, the Arabs in various 
listless attitudes around him ; and the mist of evaporation 
hung over the sea, almost hiding the opposite cliffs. 

At 6 P. M., a hot hurricane, another sirocco, blew down 
the tents and broke the syphon barometer, our last re- 
maining one. The wind shifted in currents from N. W. 
to S. E. ; excessively hot. In two hours it had gradually 
subsided to a sultry calm. All suffered very much from 
languor, and prudence warned us to begone. The tern- 


perature of the night was pleasanter than that of the day, 
and we slept soundly the sleep of exhaustion. 

Monday, May 8. A cloudy, sultry morning. At 5 A. M., 
the leveling party proceeded up the pass to continue the 
leveling. At 8, the sun burst through his cloudy screen, 
and threatened an oppressive day. Constructed a large 
float, with a flag-staff fitted to it. 

In the morning, a bird was heard singing in the thicket 
near the fountain, its notes resembling those of the night- 
ingale of Italy. The bulbul, the nightingale of this 
region, is like our kingfisher, except that its plumage is 
brown and blue, and the bill a deep scarlet. We cannot 
say that we ever heard it sing ; but at various places on 
the Jordan we heard a bird singing at night, and the 
Arabs said it was the bulbul. 

The heat increased with the ascending sun, and at 
meridian the thermometer stood at 110° in the shade. 
The Sherif 's tent was dark and silent, and we were com- 
pelled to discontinue work. The surface of the sea was 
covered by an impenetrable mist, which concealed the 
two extremities and the eastern shore ; and we had the 
prospect of a boundless ocean with an obscured horizon. 
At 1.30 P. M., a breeze sprang up from the S. E., which 
gradually freshened and hauled to the north. Towards 
sunset went to Ain Ghuweir, a short distance to the 
north. So far from being brackish, we found the water 
as sweet and refreshing as that of Ain Turabeh. 

At 4 P. M., the leveling party returned, having leveled 
over the crest of the mountain and 300 feet on the desert 
of Judea. They had been compelled to discontinue work 
by the high wind. The tent I sent them was blown 
down, and they were forced to dine under the " shadow 
of a rock." 

Tuesday, May 9. Awakened at early daylight by the 
Muslim call to prayer. A light wind from N. E. Sky 


obscured ; a mist over the sea, but less dense than that 
of yesterday. Sent Mr. Dale with the interpreter to 
reconnoitre the route over the desert towards Jerusalem. 
Pulled out in the Fanny Skinner, and moored a large 
float, with the American ensign flying, in eighty fathoms 
water, abreast of Ain Ghuweir, at too long a distance 
from the shore to be disturbed by the Arabs. Sent 
George Overstock and Hugh Kead, sick seamen, to the 
convent of Mar Saba. Wind light throughout the day, 
ranging from N. to S. E. 

Nusrallah, sheikh of the Rashayideh, to whom I had 
refused a present before our work was complete, said to 
Sherif to-day that if it had not been for him (Sherif), he 
would have found means of getting what he wanted, inti- 
mating by force. On the matter being reported, he was 
ordered instantly to leave the camp. On his profession of 
great sorrow, and at the intercession of the Sherif, he was 
permitted to remain, with the understanding that another 
remark of the kind would cause his immediate expulsion. 

Sent off the boats in sections to Bab el Hulil (Jaffa 
gate), Jerusalem. Tried the relative density of the water 
of this sea and of the Atlantic — the latter from 25° N. 
latitude and 52° W. longitude ; distilled water being as 1. 
The water of the Atlantic was 1.02, and of this sea 1.13. 
The last dissolved tV, the water of the Atlantic e, and 
distilled water tt of its weight of salt. The salt used was 
a little damp. On leaving the Jordan we carefully noted 
the draught of the boats. With the same loads they 
drew one inch less water when afloat upon this sea than 
in the river.* 

The streams from the fountains of Turabeh, Ain Jidy, 
and the salt spring near Muhariwat, were almost wholly 

* Since our return, some of the water of the Dead Sea has been subjected 
to a powerful microscope, and no animalculae or vestige of animal matter 
could be detected. 



absorbed in the plains, as well as those running down the 
ravines of Sudeir, Seyal, Mubughghik, and Humeir, and 
the torrent between the Arnon and Callirohoe. Taking 
the mean depth, width, and velocity of its more constant 
tributaries, I had estimated the quantity of water which 
the Dead Sea was hourly receiving from them at the 
time of our visit, but the calculation is one so liable to 
error, that I withhold it. It is scarcely necessary to say, 
that the quantity varies with the season, being greater 
during the winter rains, and much less in the heat of 

At 8.30, Mr. Dale and the interpreter returned. Before 
retiring, we bathed in the Dead Sea, preparatory to 
spending our twenty-second and last night upon it. We 
have carefully sounded this sea, determined its geogra- 
phical position, taken the exact topography of its shores, 
ascertained the temperature, width, depth, and velocity 
of its tributaries, collected specimens of every kind, and 
noted the winds, currents, changes of the weather, and 
all atmospheric phenomena. These, with a faithful nar- 
rative of events, will give a correct idea of this wondrous 
body of water, as it appeared to us. 

From the summit of these cliffs, in a line a little north 
of west, about sixteen miles distant, is Hebron, a short 
distance from which Dr. Robinson found the dividing 
ridge between the Mediterranean and this sea. From 
Beni Na'im, the reputed tomb of Lot, upon that ridge, it 
is supposed that Abraham looked " toward all the land of 
the plain," and beheld the smoke, "as the smoke of a 
furnace." The inference from the Bible, that this entire 
chasm was a plain sunk and " overwhelmed" by the wrath 
of God, seems to be sustained by the extraordinary char- 
acter of our soundings. The bottom of this sea consists 
of two submerged plains, an elevated and a depressed 
one ; the last averaging thirteen, the former about thirteen 


hundred feet below the surface. Through the northern, 
and largest and deepest one, in a line corresponding with 
the bed of the Jordan, is a ravine, which again seems to 
correspond with the Wady el Jeib, or ravine within a 
ravine, at the south end of the sea. 

Between the Jabok and this sea, we unexpectedly found 
a sudden breakdown in the bed of the Jordan. If there 
be a similar break in the water-courses to the south of 
the sea, accompanied with like volcanic characters, there 
can scarce be a doubt that the whole Ghor has sunk from 
some extraordinary convulsion ; preceded, most probably, 
by an eruption of fire, and a general conflagration of the 
bitumen which abounded in the plain. I shall ever 
regret that we were not authorized to explore the 
southern Ghor to the Ked Sea. 

All our observations have impressed me forcibly with 
the conviction that the mountains are older than the sea. 
Had their relative levels been the same at first, the tor- 
rents would have worn their beds in a gradual and cor- 
relative slope ; — whereas, in the northern section, the 
part supposed to have been so deeply engulfed, although 
a soft, bituminous limestone prevails, the torrents plunge 
down several hundred feet, while on both sides of the 
southern portion, the ravines come down without abrupt- 
ness, although the head of Wady Kerak is more than a 
thousand feet higher than the head of Wady Ghuweir. 
Most of the ravines, too, as reference to the map will 
show, have a southward inclination near their outlets, 
that of Zerka Main or Callirohoe especially, which, next 
to the Jordan, must pour down the greatest volume of 
water in the rainy season. But even if they had not that 
deflection, the argument which has been based on this 
supposition would be untenable ; for tributaries, like all 
other streams, seek the greatest declivities without regard 
to angular inclination. The Yermak flows into the Jor- 


dan at a right angle, and the Jabok with an acute one to 
its descending course. 

There are many other things tending to the same con- 
clusion, among them the isolation of the mountain of 
Usdum ; its difference of contour and of range, and its 
consisting entirely of a volcanic product. 

But it is for the learned to comment on the facts we 
have laboriously collected. Upon ourselves, the result is 
a decided one. We entered upon this sea with conflicting 
opinions. One of the party was skeptical, and another, I 
think, a professed unbeliever of the Mosaic account. 
After twenty-two days' close investigation, if I am not 
mistaken, we are unanimous in the conviction of the 
truth of the Scriptural account of the destruction of the 
cities of the plain. I record with diffidence the conclu- 
sions we have reached, simply as a protest against the 
shallow deductions of would-be unbelievers. 

At midnight the scene was the same as at Ain el 
Feshkhah, the first night of our arrival, save that the 
ground was more firm and the weather warmer ; but the 
sea presented a similar unnatural aspect. There was 
also a new feature betokening a coming change; there 
were camels lying around, which had been brought in, 
preparatory to to-morrow's movement. Heretofore, I had 
always seen this animal reposing upon its knees, but on 
this occasion all not chewing the cud were lying down. 
The night passed away quietly, and a light wind spring- 
ing up from the north, even the most anxious were at 
length lulled to sleep by the rippling waves, as they 
brattled upon the shore. 




Wednesday, May 10. A clear, warm, but pleasant 
morning. Soon after daylight, sent Mr. Aulick and Mr. 
Bedlow to Jerusalem with the chronometers, to make ob- 
servations for ascertaining their rate. At 7 A. M., the 
levelling party started. Made preparations for finally 
breaking up the camp on the Dead Sea. 

At 9.30, struck tents, and at 10, started, and ascended 
the pass of Ain Turabeh. With us were Sherif, Ibrahim 
Aga, and the sheikhs of the Raschayideh and Ta'amirah, 
and six camels. Winding slowly up the steep pass, we 
looked back at every turn upon our last place of encamp- 
ment, and upon the silent sea. We are ever sad on part- 
ing with things for the last time. The feeling that we 
are never to see them again, makes us painfully sensible 
of our own mortality. 

At 12, overtook the levelling party, and shortly after 
the camels with the sections of the boats. At 1.15 P. M., 
camped in Wady Khiyam Seya rah (Ravine of the Tents 
of Seya'rah), so called from a tribe of that name having 
been surprised and murdered here. It is a rocky glen, 
over a steep precipice, a thousand feet above the Dead 
Sea. There are two large caves on the north side of the 
ravine, in which we prepared to take up our quarters, 
but the Arabs dissuaded us with the assurance that they 
abound with serpents and scorpions, which crawl out in 
the night. 

Our camp was, properly speaking, in a depression of the 



extremity of the ridge between the ravines Ghuweir and 
En Nar. 

At night, we invited Sherif to our tent, and prevailed 
on him to tell his history. His father was Sherif, or 
hereditary governor of Mecca, to which dignity, at his 
death, the eldest brother of our friend succeeded. When 
Mecca surrendered to Mehemet Ali, his brother was de- 
posed ; and a cousin, inimical to them, was appointed in 
his stead. The deposed Sherif fled to Constantinople; 
our friend was carried captive to Cairo, where he was 
detained ten years a prisoner, but provided with a house, 
and an allowance of 3000 piastres (125 dollars) per month 
for his support. When Arabia was overrun by the Wa- 
habees, Mehemet Ali, wisely counting on sectarian ani- 
mosity, gave our Sherif a command, and sent him to the 
war. His person bears many marks of wounds he received 
in various actions. When Mehemet Ali was compelled 
by the quintuple alliance to abandon his conquests, our 
Sherif went to Egypt to claim his pay, and reimburse- 
ments for advances he had made. Put off with vague 
promises, he proceeded to Stambohl (Constantinople) to 
sue for redress, and having laid his application before the 
divan, was now awaiting the decision. His account of him- 
self is sustained by the information we received from our 
Vice-Consul and Mr. Fingie, H. B. M. Vice-Consul at Acre, 
respecting him. He is intelligent and much reverenced, 
and, in consequence, very influential among the tribes. 
To him and to 'Akil, coupled with our own vigilance, we 
may in a great measure ascribe our not having encoun- 
tered difficulty with the Arabs. He was to leave us the 
next day, and would carry with him our respect and fer- 
vent good wishes. We often remarked among ourselves, 
what should we have done without Sherif and 'Akil ; we 
have not the slightest doubt that their presence pre- 
vented bloodshed. 


A monk from the Convent of Mar Saba came in this 
evening, and brought word that our sick sailors were 
doing well. There seemed to be a good understanding 
between these religious and the various tribes ; at night, 
an Arab shared his aba with the monk, and the shaven- 
crown of the Christian and the scalp-lock of the Muslim 
were covered by the same garment. 

In a few hours we had materially changed our climate, 
and in this elevated region the air was quite cool. We 
slept delightfully, drawing our cloaks yet closer as the 
night advanced. At 4 A. M., thermometer 60° ; abso- 
lutely cold. 

We were in a most dreary country ; calcined hills and 
barren valleys, furrowed by torrent beds, all without a 
tree or shrub, or sign of vegetation. The stillness of 
death reigned on one side ; the sea of death, calm and 
curtained in mist, lay upon the other; and yet this is the 
most interesting country in the world. This is the wil- 
derness of Judea ; near this, God conversed with Abra- 
ham; and here, came John the Baptist, preaching the 
glad tidings of salvation. These verdureless hills and 
arid valleys have echoed the words of the Great Pre- 
cursor ; and at the head of the next ravine lies Bethle- 
hem, the birth-place of the meek Kedeemer, — in full 
sight of the Holy City, the theatre of the most wondrous 
events recorded on the page of history, — where that self- 
sacrifice was offered, which became thenceforth the seal 
of a perpetual covenant between God and man ! 

Thursday, May 11. There is, perhaps, no greater trial 
to the constitution than sudden changes of atmospheric 
temperature; in other words, of climate. We were so 
enfeebled by the heat we had experienced in the chasm 
beneath us, that, at the temperature of 60°, the air here 
felt piercingly cold. We had shivered through the night; 
and so busy had been the sentinels in searching for dried 


thistles and shrubs, to feed the watch-fires, that, perhaps, 
in all our wanderings, the guard had never been so 

We began, early, to prepare for work, and sent off three 
camel-loads of specimens, &c, to Jerusalem. Settled and 
parted with the good Sherif. 

Breakfasted in the rocky glen, with our backs towards 
the barren hills of the Desert of Judea ; while the rays of 
the sun, rising over the mountains of Moab, were reflected 
from the glassy surface of the desolate sea before us. 

We levelled, to-day, over parched valleys, and sterile 
ridges, to the flattened summit of an elevation, at the 
base of which three ravines meet, called the " Meeting of 
the Tribes," — the Dead Sea concealed by an intervening 
ridge. We were fully 2000 feet above it, and the wind 
was fierce and cutting. Strolling from the camp, soon 
after we had pitched the tents, I felt so cold as to be com- 
pelled to return to the tent. The thermometer, at the 
opening, stood at 69° ; but 7° below summer-heat. This 
place derives its name from a gathering of the tribes, or 
council, once held here. We saw, to-day, a light-brown 
fox, with a white tail. 

Friday, May 12. The morning and the evening cool ; 
the mid-day warm. Levelled into and up the Wady en 
Nar (Kavine of Fire) to the Greek Convent of Mar Saba. 
The ravine was shut in, on each side, by high, barren 
cliffs of chalky limestone, which, while they excluded the 
air, threw their reverberated heat upon us, and made the 
day's work an uncomfortable one. There was an asso- 
ciation connected with the scene, however, which sus- 
tained us under the blinding light and oppressive heat 
of noon. The dry torrent-bed, interrupted by boulders, 
and covered with fragments of stone, is the channel of the 
brook Kidron, which, in its season, flows by the walls of 
the Holy City. 


The approach to the convent is striking, from the lofty, 
perpendicular cliffs on each side, perforated with a great 
many natural and artificial excavations. Immense labour, 
sustained by a fervent though mistaken zeal, must have 
been expended here. 

A perpendicular cliff, of about 400 feet, has its face 
covered with walls, terraces, chapels, and churches, con- 
structed of solid masonry, all now in perfect repair. The 
walls of this convent, with a semicircular-concave sweep, 
run along the western bank of the ravine, from the bottom 
to the summit. The buildings form detached parts, con- 
structed at different periods. 

At 3.30 P. M., coming up from the ravine, we descended 
an inclined wady, and camped outside of the western gate 
of the convent, under a broad ledge of rock, forming the 
head of a lateral ravine, running into the main one. A 
narrow platform was before us, with a sheer descent from 
its edge to the bottom of the small ravine, which bore a 
few scattering fig-trees. We were earnestly invited to 
take up our quarters inside ; but, dreading the fleas, we 
preferred the open air. There was a lofty look-out tower 
on the hill above us, to the south. 

At the foot of a slight descent, about pistol-shot dis- 
tance, was a low door, through which we were admitted 
to visit the convent. By the meagre monk who let us 
in, we were conducted through a long passage, and down 
two flights of stairs, into a court paved with flags ; on the 
right centre of which stood a small, round chapel, con- 
taining the tomb of St. Saba. On the opposite side was 
the church, gorgeously gilded and adorned with panel and 
fresco paintings ; the former enshrined in silver, and some 
of them good ; the latter, mere daubs. The pavement 
was smooth, variegated marble ; there were two clocks, 
near the altar; and two large, rich, golden chandeliers, 
and many ostrich-eggs, suspended from the ceiling. 
33 z 


From the court we were led along a terraced walk, 
parallel with the ravine, with some pomegranate-trees 
and a small garden-patch on each side ; and, ascending a 
few steps, turned shortly to the left, and were ushered 
into the parlour, immediately over the chasm. The 
adjoining room was occupied by our two sick men, of 
whom admirable care had been taken, and we rejoiced to 
find that they were convalescent. The parlour was 
about sixteen by twenty-four feet, almost entirely car- 
peted, with a slightly-elevated divan on two sides. The 
stinted pomegranate-trees and the few peppers growing 
in the mimic garden were refreshing to the eye ; and, 
after a lapse of twenty-two days, we enjoyed the luxury 
of sitting upon chairs. 

From the flat, terrace roofs, are stairways of cut stone, 
leading to excavations in the rock, which are the habita- 
tions of the monks. We visited one of them, high up the 
impending cliff. It consisted of two cells, the inner one 
mostly the work of the present tenant. They were then 
dry and comfortable, but in the rainy season must be 
exceedingly damp and unwholesome. 

Within the convent, we were told that there are seventy 
wells, and numerous cisterns, with abundance of rain- 
water. There are many flights of stairs, corridors, and 
cells ; among the last, that of John of Damascus. A lofty 
tower shoots, shaft-like, from the northern angle, and a 
lone palm-tree rears its graceful form beside it. Near the 
chapel of St. Saba, is a singular cemetery, containing a 
great many skulls, piled against the walls, — a sad memorial 
of an act of cruelty on the part of the Turks and the Per- 
sians; — Chosroes, king of Persia, having, in the sixth cen- 
tury, put to death a number of monks, whose skulls are 
collected here. The room is excavated in the rock, and 
may have the preservative qualities such a legend would 
infer. In times of scarcity, the Arabs throng here for 


food, which is given to them gratuitously; and to this, 
doubtless, is attributable the popularity of the inmates of 
the convent with the wandering tribes. The monks live 
solely upon a vegetable diet. There are about thirty in 
the convent, including lay-brothers, and, except a few 
from Kussia, they are all Greeks. They are good-natured, 
illiterate, and credulous. The archbishop, from Jeru- 
salem, looked like a being of a superior order among 
them, and, in his pontifical attire, presented an imposing 

The interior of the convent is far more extensive than 
one would suppose, looking upon it from the western side, 
whence only the tower, the top of the church, and a part 
of the walls, are visible. 

There is egress from the convent to the ravine by 
means of a ladder, which, at will, is let down from a low, 
arched door. The sight, from the bottom of the ravine, 
is one well calculated to inspire awe. The chasm is here 
about 600 feet wide and 400 deep, — a broad, deep gorge, 
or fissure, between lofty mountains, the steep and barren 
sides of which are furrowed by the winter rains. There 
are many excavations in the face of the cliffs, on both 
sides of the ravine, below the convent. One of them has 
evidently been a chapel, and on its walls are carved the 
names of many pilgrims, mostly Greeks, from 1665 to 1674, 
and, after the lapse of upwards of a century, from 1804 to 
1843. A little above the convent, on the west side, half- 
way up, on the abrupt face of the precipice, are the ruins 
of a building, a chapel or a fortress. One story is stand- 
ing, with a tower, pierced with loop-holes. The nume- 
rous excavations present a most singular appearance; 
and, looking upon them, one expects every moment to 
see the inmates come forth. It is a city of caverns. 

We walked some distance up the bed of the Kidron, 
and encountered several precipices from ten to twelve 


feet high, down which cataracts plunge in winter. It 
will be difficult, but not impracticable, to level this torrent 
bed. Collected some fossils, and a few flowers, for preser- 
vation. Even at this early season, the scanty vegetation, 
scattered here and there in the ravines of the desert of 
Judea, was already parched and withered. There were 
but few flowers within this ravine ; the scarlet anemone 
and the purple blossom of the thistle being the prevailing 
ones. "We gathered one, however, which was star-shaped; 
the leaves white near the stem, but blue above, and the 
seed-stalks yellow, with white heads. A few leaves 
nearest the flower were green, but the rest, with the stalk, 
were parched and dry. It was inodorous, and, like beauty 
without virtue, fair and attractive to the eye, but crum- 
bling from rottenness in the hands of him who admiringly 
plucks it. In this ravine, from the Dead Sea to the bor- 
ders of cultivation, we have, besides, gathered for our 
herbarium, the blue weed, so well known in Maryland 
and Virginia for its destructive qualities ; the white hen- 
bane ; the dyer's weed, used in Europe for dyeing green 
and yellow ; the dwarf mallow, commonly called cresses, 
and the caper plant, the unopened flower-buds of which, 
preserved in vinegar, are so much used as a condiment. 

R. E. Griffiths, M. D., of Philadelphia, with whom our 
botanical collection has been placed for classification, 
cites an opinion, supported by strong argument, that the 
last-named plant is the hyssop of Scripture. 

During the night, we had a severe thunder storm, with 
a slight shower of rain. One of the camels, in its fright, 
fell into the ravine before the caverns where we slept, 
and kept us long awake with its discordant cries. The 
animal was unhurt; but the Arabs tortured it, by 
their fruitless endeavours to extricate it in the dark. 
They were alike deaf to advice, entreaties, and com- 
mands, until one of the sentries was ordered to charge 



upon them, when they hurriedly dispersed, and the poor 
camel and ourselves were left in quietude. 

Saturday, May 13. Calm and cloudy. 6 A. M., ther- 
mometer 68°. It had been 53° during the night, and 79° 
at 11 A. M. the preceding day. Deferred levelling any 
farther, until we had reconnoitred the two routes to Jeru- 
salem. The one up the ravine, although presenting great 
difficulties, proved more practicable than the route we had 
come. Let all hands rest until Monday. Extricated the 
camel from the ravine. 

Sunday, May 14. A quiet day — wind east; weather 
pleasant. Collected some fossils, and a few flowers, for 
preservation. At meridian, temperature 76° ; at mid- 
night, 58°. While here, several of the bteddin, or coney 
of Scripture, were seen among the rocks. 



Monday, May 15. Wind S. W. ; partially cloudy. 
Thermometer, at 2 A. M., 58° ; at Meridian, 72°. Dis- 
charged all the Arabs, except a guide and the necessary 
camel-drivers. The levelling party worked up the bed 
of the Kidron, while the camp proceeded along the edge 
of the western cliff. In about two hours, we passed a 
large cistern, hewn in the rock, twenty feet long, twelve 
wide, and eighteen high. There was water in it to the 
depth of four feet, and its surface was coated with green 
slime. In it two Arabs were bathing. Nevertheless, our 


beasts and ourselves were compelled to drink it. Soon 
after, isolated tufts of scant and parched vegetation began 
to appear upon the hill-sides. We were truly in a desert. 
There was no difference of hue between the dry torrent- 
bed and the sides and summits of the mountains. From 
the Great Sea, which washes the sandy plain on the west, 
to that bitter sea on the east, which bears no living thing 
within it, all was dreary desolation! The very birds 
and animals, as on the shores of the Dead Sea, were of 
the same dull-brown colour, — the colour of ashes. How 
literally is the prophecy of Joel fulfilled ! " That which 
the palmer-worm hath left, hath the locust eaten ; and 
that which the locust hath left, hath the canker-worm 
eaten ; and that which the canker-worm hath left, hath 
the caterpillar eaten. The field is wasted, the land 
mourneth, and joy is withered from the sons of men." 

How different the appearance of the mountain districts 
of our own land at this season ! There, hills and plains, 
as graceful in their sweep as the arrested billows of a 
mighty ocean, are before and around the delighted tra- 
veller. Diversified in scenery, luxuriant of foliage, and, 
like virgin ore, crumbling from their own richness, they 
teem with their abundant products. The lowing herds, 
the bleating flocks, the choral songsters of the grove, 
gratify and delight the ear ; the clustering fruit-blossoms, 
the waving corn, the grain slow bending to the breeze, 
proclaim an early, redundant harvest. More boundless 
than the view, that glorious land is uninterrupted in its 
sweep until the one extreme is locked in the fast embrace 
of thick-ribbed ice, and the other is washed by the phos- 
phorescent ripple of the tropic ; while, on either side, is 
heard the murmuring surge of a wide-spread and magnifi- 
cent ocean. Who can look upon that land and not thank 
God that his lot is cast within it ? And yet this country, 
scathed by the wrath of an offended Deity, teems with 


associations of the most thrilling events recorded in the 
book of time. The patriot may glory in the one, — the 
Christian of every clime must weep, but, even in weeping, 
hope for the other. 

Soon after leaving the cistern, or pool, we passed an 
Arab burial-ground, the graves indicated by a double line 
of rude stones, as at Kerak ; excepting one of a sheikh, 
over which was a plastered tomb. Before it our Arab 
guide stopped, and, bowing his head, recited a short 

As we thence advanced, pursuing a north-westerly 
course, signs of cultivation began to exhibit themselves. 
On each side of us were magnificent rounded and sharp- 
crested hills ; and, on the top of one, we soon after saw 
the black tents of an Arab encampment; some camels 
and goats browsing along the sides ; and, upon the very 
summit, the figures of some fellahas (Arab peasant 
women) cut sharp against the sky. 

A little farther on, we came to a small patch of tobacco, 
in a narrow ravine, the cotylidons just appearing ; and, 
in the shadow of a rock, a fellah was seated, with his long 
gun, to guard it. Half a mile farther, we met an Arab, 
a genuine Bedawy, wearing a sheepskin aba, the fur 
inwards, and driving before him a she-camel, with its 
foal. A little after, still following the bed of the Kidron, 
we came to the fork of the pilgrim's road, which turns 
to the north, at the foot of a high hill, on the summit of 
which was a large encampment of the tribe Subeih. 
Leaving the pilgrim's road on the right, we skirted the 
southern base of the hill, with patches of wheat and barley 
covering the surface of the narrow valley ; — the wheat 
just heading, and the fields of barley literally " white for 
the harvest." Standing by the roadside, was a fellaha, 
with a child in her arms, who courteously saluted us. 
She did not appear to be more than sixteen. 


The valley was here about two hundred yards wide ; 
and to our eyes, so long unused to the sight of vegetation, 
presented a beautiful appearance. The people of the vil- 
lage collected in crowds to look upon us as we passed far 
beneath them. Some of them came down and declared 
that they would not permit the 'Abeidiyeh (of which tribe 
were our camel-drivers) to pass through their territory ; 
and claimed for themselves the privilege of furnishing 
camels. We paid no attention to them, but camped on 
the west side of the hill, where the valley sweeps to the 

Tuesday, May 16. Weather clear, cool, and delightful. 
At daylight, recommenced levelling. Soon after, the 
sheikh of the village above us, with fifteen or twenty 
followers, armed with long guns, came down and de- 
manded money for passing through his territory. On 
our refusal, high words ensued ; but finding his efforts at 
intimidation unsuccessful, he presented us with a sheep, 
which he refused to sell, but gave it, he said, as a back- 
shish. Knowing that an extravagant return was expected, 
and determined not to humour him, I directed the fair 
value of the sheep, in money, to be given. Finding that 
no more was to be obtained, he left us. 

It was a pastoral sight, when we broke up camp, this 
morning. The sun was just rising over the eastern hills; 
and, in every direction, we heard shepherds calling to 
each other from height to height, their voices mingling 
with the bleating of sheep and goats, and the lowing of 
numerous cattle. Reapers were harvesting in every field ; 
around the threshing-floors the oxen, three abreast, were 
treading out the grain ; and women were passing to and 
fro, bearing huge bundles of grain in the straw, or pitchers 
of leban (sour milk), upon their heads. Every available 
part of this valley is cultivated. The mode of harvesting 
is primitive. The reaping-hook alone is used ; the cradle 

an Arab's love. 393 

seemed to be unknown. The scene reminded one forcibly 
of the fields of Boaz, and Kuth the gleaner. But, with all 
its peaceful aspect, there was a feature of insecurity. Along 
the bases of the hills, from time to time shifting their 
positions, to keep within the shade, were several armed 
fellahin, guarding the reapers and the grain. The remark 
of Volney yet holds true : — " the countryman must sow 
with his musket in his hand, and no more is sown than is 
necessary for subsistence." 

Towards noon it became very warm, and we were 
thirsty. Meeting an old Arab woman, we despatched her 
to the Subeih for some leban. We noticed that 'Aw ad, 
our Ta'amirah guide, was exceedingly polite to her. But 
when she returned, accompanied by her daughter, a 
young and pretty fellaha, he became sad, and scarce said 
a word while they remained. On being asked the reason 
of his sudden sadness, he confessed that he had once 
spent twelve months with that tribe, sleeping, according 
to the custom of Arab courtship, every night outside of 
the young girl's tent, in the hope of winning her for his 
wife. He said that they were mutually attached, but 
that the mother was opposed to him, and the father de- 
manded 4000 piastres, about 170 dollars. 'Awad had 
2000 piastres, the earnings of his whole life, and in the 
hope of buying her (for such is the true name of an Arab 
marriage), he determined to sell his horse, which he valued 
at 1000 piastres, or a little over forty dollars. But, 

" The course of true love did never yet run smooth j" 

and unfortunately his horse died, which reduced him to 
despair. Shortly after, the girl's uncle claimed her for 
his son, then five years old, offering to give his daughter 
to her brother. According to an immemorial custom of 
the Arabs, such a claim took precedence of all others, and 
the beautiful girl, just ripening into womanhood, was be- 


trothed to the child. With the philosophy of his race, 
however, 'Awad subsequently consoled himself with a 
wife; but, true to his first love, never sees its object with- 
out violent emotion. 

He further told us, that in the same camp there was 
another girl far more beautiful than the one we had seen, 
for whom her father asked 6000 piastres, a little more 
than 250 dollars. The one we saw was lightly and sym- 
metrically formed, and exceedingly graceful in her move- 
ments. The tawny complexion, the cheek-bones some- 
what prominent, the coarse black hair, and the dark, 
lascivious eye, reminded us of a female Indian of our 

Leaving the fellahin busy in their fields, and still fol- 
lowing the ravine, we came to a narrow ridge, immedi- 
ately on the other side of which were some thirty or forty 
black tents. Here a stain upon the rocks told a tale of 

An Arab widower ran off with a married woman from 
the encampment before us, — a most unusual crime among 
this people. In little more than a month, the unhappy 
woman died. Knowing that by the laws of the tribes he 
could be put to death by the injured man, or any of his 
or the woman's relatives he might encounter, and that 
they were on the watch for him ; and yet anxious to 
return, he made overtures for a settlement. After much 
negotiation, the feud was reconciled on condition that he 
gave his daughter, 400 piastres, a camel, and some sheep 
to the injured man. A feast was accordingly given, and 
the parties embraced in seeming amity. But the son-in- 
law brooded over his wrong, and one day seeing the 
seducer of his former wife approaching, concealed himself 
in a cavity of the rock and deliberately shot him as he 
passed. Such is the Arab law of vengeance, in cases of 
a flagrant breach of faith like this, that all of both tribes, 


'Awad told us, are now bound to put the murderer to 

This elopement is not an isolated circumstance, although 
a most unusual one. The only wonder is that with such 
a licentious race as the Arabs, the marriage contract, 
wherein the woman has no choice, is not more frequently 
violated. Burckhardt relates a similar case, which oc- 
curred south of Kerak, in 1810. 

A young man of Tafyle had eloped with the wife of 
another. The father of the young man with all his 
family had been also obliged to fly, for the Bedawin law 
authorized the injured husband to kill any of the 
offender's relations in retaliation for the loss of his wife. 
Proffers were made for a settlement of the difficulty, and 
negotiations were opened. The husband began by de- 
manding from the young man's father two wives in return 
for the one carried off, and the greater part of the pro- 
perty which the emigrant family possessed in Tafyle. 
The father of the guilty wife, and her first-cousin also, 
demanded compensation for the insult which their family 
had received by the elopement. The affair was settled 
by the offender's father placing four infant daughters, the 
youngest of whom was not yet weaned, at the disposal of 
the husband and his father-in-law, who might betroth 
them to whom they pleased, and receive themselves the 
money which is usually paid for girls. The four girls 
were estimated at three thousand piastres. In testimony of 
peace being concluded between the two families, and of the 
price of blood having been paid, the young man's father, 
who had not yet shown himself publicly, came to shake 
hands with the injured husband; a white flag was sus- 
pended at the top of the tent in which they sat, a sheep 
was killed and the night spent in feasting. After that, 
the guilty pair could return in safety. 

Soon after noon, we passed the last encampment of 


black tents, and turning aside from the line of march, I 
rode to the summit of a hill on the left, and beheld the 
Holy City, on its elevated site at the head of the ravine. 
With an interest never felt before, I gazed upon the hal- 
lowed spot of our redemption. Forgetting myself and 
all around me, I saw, in vivid fancy, the route traversed 
eighteen centuries before by the Man of Sorrows. Men 
may say what they please, but there are moments when 
the soul, casting aside the artificial trammels of the world, 
will assert its claim to a celestial origin, and regardless 
of time and place, of sneers and sarcasms, pay its tribute 
at the shrine of faith, and weep for the sufferings of its 

I scarce realized my position. Could it be, that with 
my companions I had been permitted to explore that 
wondrous sea, which an angry God threw as a mantle 
over the cities he had condemned, and of which it had 
been heretofore predicted that no one could traverse it 
and live. It was so, for there, far below, through the 
descending vista, lay the sombre sea. Before me, on its 
lofty hill, four thousand feet above that sea, was the 
queenly city. I cannot coincide with most travellers in 
decrying its position. To my unlettered mind, its site, 
from that view, seemed, in isolated grandeur, to be in ad- 
mirable keeping with the sublimity of its associations. A 
lofty mountain, sloping to the south, and precipitous on 
the east and west, has a yawning natural fosse on those 
three sides, worn by the torrents of ages. The deep vale 
of the son of Hinnom ; the profound chasm of the valley 
of Jehoshaphat, unite at the south-east angle of the base to 
form the Wady en Nar, the ravine of fire, down which, 
in the rainy season, the Kidron precipitates its swollen 
flood into the sea below. 

Mellowed by time, and yet further softened by the in- 
tervening distance, the massive walls, with their towers 


and bastions, looked beautiful yet imposing in the golden 
sunlight; and above them, the only thing within their 
compass visible from that point, rose the glittering dome 
of the mosque of Omar, crowning Mount Moriah, on the 
site of the Holy Temple. On the other side of the chasm, 
commanding the city and the surrounding hills, is the 
Mount of Olives, its slopes darkened with the foliage of 
olive-trees, and on its very summit the former Church of 
the Ascension, now converted into a mosque. 

Many writers have undertaken to describe the first 
sight of Jerusalem ; but all that I have read convey but 
a faint idea of the reality. There is a gloomy grandeur 
in the scene which language cannot paint. My feeble pen 
is wholly unworthy of the effort. With fervent emotions 
I have made the attempt, but congealed in the process of 
transmission, the most glowing thoughts are turned to 

The ravine widened as we approached Jerusalem; 
fields of yellow grain, orchards of olives and figs, and 
some apricot-trees, covered all the land in sight capable 
of cultivation ; but not a tree, nor a bush, on the barren 
hill-sides. The young figs, from the size of a currant to a 
plum, were shooting from the extremities of the branches, 
while the leaf-buds were just bursting. Indeed, the fruit 
of the fig appears before the leaves are formed,* and thus, 
when our Saviour saw a fig-tree in leaf, he had, humanly 
speaking, reason to expect to find fruit upon it. 

Although the mountain-sides were barren, there were 
vestiges of terraces on nearly all of them. On the slope 
of one there were twenty-four, which accounts for the 
redundant population this country once supported. 

Ascending the valley, which, at every step, presented 
more and more an increasing luxuriance of vegetation, 

* Kitto's Palestine. 



the dark hue of the olive, with its dull, white blossoms, 
relieved by the light, rich green of the apricot and the 
fig, and an occasional pomegranate, thickly studded with 
its scarlet flowers, we came to En Kogel, the Well of Job, 
or of Nehemiah (where the fire of the altar was reco- 
vered), with cool, delicious water, 118 feet deep, and a 
small, arched, stone building over it. 

On our right, was the Mount of Offence, where Solomon 
worshipped Ashtaroth : before us, in the rising slope of 
the valley of Jehoshaphat, had been the kings' gardens in 
the palmy days of Jerusalem : a little above, and farther 
to the west, were the pool of Siloam and the fountain of the 
Virgin : on the opposite side of the chasm was the village 
of Siloam, where, it is said, Solomon kept his strange 
wives ; and, below it, the great Jewish burial-ground, 
tessellated with the flat surfaces of grave-stones; and, 
near by, the tombs of Absalom, Zacharias, and Jehosha- 
phat ; and, above and beyond, and more dear in its asso- 
ciations than all, the garden of Gethsemane. 

We here turned to the left, up the valley of the son of 
Hinnom, where Saul was anointed king ; and, passing a 
tree on the right, which, according to tradition, indicates 
the spot where Isaiah was sawn asunder ; and by a cave 
in which it is asserted that the apostles concealed them- 
selves when they forsook their Master; and under the 
Aceldama, bought with the price of blood ; and near the 
pool in the garden of Urias, where, from his palace, the 
king saw Bathsheba bathing; we levelled slowly along 
the skirts of Mount Zion, near the summit of which 
towered a mosque, above the tomb of David. 

It was up Mount Zion that Abraham, steadfast in faith, 
led the wondering Isaac, the type of a future sacrifice. 

Centuries after, a more august and a self-devoted vic- 
tim, laden with the instrument of his torture, toiled along 
the same acclivity; but there was then no miraculous 



interposition ; and He who felt for the anguish of a human 
parent, spared not Himself. 

From this valley Mount Zion rises high and preci- 
pitous ; and, isolated as the hill was under the Jebusites, 
might well justify their scornful message, when summoned 
by David to surrender. 

Following the curve of the vale of Hinnom, the Ge- 
henna of the Old Testament, which rounds gradually to 
the north, with the Hill of Evil Counsel* on our left, we 
proceeded to the lower pool of Gihon, where, at 5 P. M., 
we were compelled to halt, in consequence of the high 
wind agitating the spirit-level. 

We pitched our tents upon a terrace, just above where 
the aqueduct crosses from Solomon's pool, with Zion gate 
immediately over us, and, a quarter of a mile below, the 
tower of Hippacus and the Jaffa gate. In a line with us, 
above the Jaffa gate, was the upper pool of Gihon, with 
a number of Turkish tombs near it. On the opposite, or 
western side of the ravine, were old, gray, barren cliffs, 
with excavated tombs and caverns. The lower pool, be- 
neath the camp, is formed by two huge, thick walls across 
the chasm. The aqueduct is led along the upper edge 
of the lower one ; and the surface of the wall serves as a 
bridge, over which passes the road to Bethlehem, — the 
one traversed by our Saviour, on his first visit to Jeru- 
salem. We made a bench-mark on a rock, above the 
north-west angle of the city-wall. We made a similar 
mark in the Wady en Nar, immediately under the Con- 
vent of Mar Saba. The object of these bench-marks was 
to prevent the necessity of recommencing the level, de 
novo, in the event of an error. 

There was little evidence of curiosity respecting us or 

* So called, from the tradition that on it Caiaphas dwelt when he coun- 
selled with the Jews. 


the labour in which we were engaged. Our interpreter 
once or twice heard the remark, "the Franks are pre- 
paring to take possession of the Holy City." 

The localities around us were so interesting, every spot 
teeming with recollections of the past, that the night was 
far advanced before we slept. The stars shone forth lus- 
trous, yet serene; and the fleecy cloud drifted slowly 
along the sky ; and the glittering dew settled upon the 
bending blade, which, while it bent, it fertilized. The 
luxuriant valleys, the lofty mountains, and the jewelled 
sky, proclaimed the existence of a Being as merciful as 
He is potent; while the crumbling terraces, the dese- 
crated tombs, and the fast-bound gates of the silent city, 
beyond which, after night-fall, none can venture in 
security, told of the devastating hand, and the cruel and 
rapacious nature of man. 

The dew was heavy, and we suffered from the cold, 
although the thermometer did not range below 52° in the 
night. The grain, already cut, laid in heaps in the valley 
below, exposed to the depredation of the spoiler, for none 
dared remain to guard it. Of all that solitude, we were 
the only tenants. 



Wednesday, May 17. At 4 A. M. this morning, the 
thermometer stood at 53°. In our present condition, the 
air felt as keen at this temperature as formerly at home, 
when the sky was clouded, and there was snow upon the 

We ran the level up the road, and beyond the Jaffa 
gate, to the highest near peak, north-west of Jerusalem. 
There were many Jewish women and children, clothed 
all in white, under the olive-trees in the valley, as we 
passed. They were families from the city, who thus 
came to spend the day beneath the shade, away from the 
stifling air of the Jew's quarter. 

On the eminence just without the gate, was a large 
khan, in which the sections of our boats had been depo- 
sited on their arrival. A little beyond, on the some- 
what flattened summit, a battalion of Turkish infantry 
was going through the exercise. The arms were brightly 
burnished and in fine order, and the precision of their 
evolutions was admirable ; but the men were of small 
stature, and looked physically incapable of enduring much 
fatigue. They were dressed in the European costume. 

Passing a large tomb which stands conspicuous to the 
north, we camped a little off the Jaffa road, beside an 
olive-tree, about a mile and a half distant from the city ; 
and as far south-west from the reputed place where the 
empress Helena was buried, and immediately west of the 
site most probably occupied by the besieging camp of the 
34* 2 a (401) 


Roman army under Titus. There were many fields of 
grain around us, occasionally separated by low walls of 
uncut and uncemented stone. There were few trees, and 
the mountains, from their summits two-thirds down, were 
masses of brown rock without soil and unrelieved by ver- 
dure. South-west from us, about a mile distant, was a large 
building, its towers just visible over an intervening ridge. 
It was the Greek convent of the Holy Cross, where, we 
were told, " is the earth that nourished the root, that bore 
the tree, that yielded the timber, that made the cross." A 
most irreverent play upon words connected with such a 
theme, for it reminds one forcibly of the nursery tale of 
the " house that Jack built." 

It is from this quarter that the appearance of Jerusalem 
has been usually described. Looking hence upon the city, 
but little above a level, it is certainly less grand and im- 
posing than from the gorge of the valley to the south-east, 
where it towers majestically above the spectator. Yet, 
beheld even from this point, there is no other city in the 
world which can compare with it in position. It does 
not, like other cities, present an indefinite mass of build- 
ings, which must be viewed in detail before the eye can 
be gratified ; but, with only its dome-roofs swelling above 
the time-stained and lofty walls, Jerusalem sits enthroned, 
a queen in the midst of an empire of desolation. Apart 
from its associations, we look upon it in admiration; 
but, connected with them, the mind is filled with reve- 
rential awe, as it recalls the wondrous events that have 
occurred within and around it. 

The city is nearly in the form of a paralellogram, about 
three-fourths of a mile long, from east to west, and half a 
mile broad, from north to south. The walls are lofty, pro- 
tected by an artificial fosse on the north, and the deep 
ravines of Jehoshaphat, of Gihon, and the Son of Hinnom, 
on the east, south, and west. There are now but four 


gates to the city. The Jaffa gate, the fish-gate of the 
New Testament, on the west ; the Damascus gate, open- 
ing on the great northern road, along which our Saviour 
travelled, when, at twelve years of age, he came up 
with his mother and kindred; the gate of St. Stephen, 
on the east, near the spot where the first Christian 
martyr fell, and overlooking the valley of Jehoshaphat ; 
and the Zion gate, to the south, on the crest of the 
mount. Immediately within the last, are the habitations 
of the lepers. 

On the 18th, sent the sections of the boats to Jaffa, 
under the charge of Sherif, whom we found here. We 
remained in camp until the 2 2d, the officers and men by 
turns visiting the city and its environs. During that 
time the weather was clear, cool at night, and delightful 
throughout the day. 

Dr. Anderson left us here, his business calling him in 
another direction. Although not required to do so, he 
had, while with us, generously persisted in bearing his 
portion of watchfulness and fatigue ; and by his invaria- 
ble cheerfulness, his promptitude and zeal on all occasions, 
proved, independently of his professional services, a most 
valuable auxiliary. He won our esteem, and carries with 
him the fervent good will of every member of the party. 
Mr. Bedlow, who had studied medicine, and given us 
satisfactory proof of his capacity, was appointed to fill 
the place of Dr. Anderson. 

The following account of his first day in Jerusalem is 
from the diary of the youngest officer of the party, who 
was sent up from Am Jidy in advance of the camp. I 
give it as the unvarnished recital of one who simply 
relates what he saw. 

" Our bones yet ached from the effects of our fatiguing 
ride ; nevertheless, we determined first to visit the holy 
places of Jerusalem, and then to regale ourselves with 


a civilized repast, and afterwards luxuriate upon a bona 
fide bed. 

" Our cicerone had arrived betimes, and installed him- 
self in his office with that pleasantness of manner which 
the expectation of a liberal fee produces. His entreaties 
to make haste roused us from our recumbent postures, 
and we sallied forth through miserable apologies for 
streets, lined on each side by dilapidated bazaars. 

" The Via Dolorosa, or Sorrowful Way, first arrested 
our attention, and our guide pointed out the spot where 
our Saviour fell under the burthen of his cross. A little 
farther on, we had a partial view of the mosque of Omar, 
above the high walls by which it is surrounded. While 
we gazed upon it, a crowd of Abyssinian pilgrims called 
out to us with such fierce expressions of fanatic rage that 
our hands instinctively grasped our weapons. The move- 
ment had its effect, and after indulging our curiosity, we 
passed on unmolested. 

" Next to Mecca, Jerusalem is the most holy place of 
Muhammedan pilgrimage, and throughout the year, the 
mosque of Omar and its court are crowded with turbanned 
worshippers. This mosque, built upon the site of the 
Holy Temple, is the great shrine of their devotions. It is 
strictly guarded against all intruders, and there is a 
superstitious Muslim belief that if a Christian were to 
gain access to it, Allah would assent to whatever he 
might please to ask, and they take it for granted that his 
first prayer would be for the subversion of the religion of 
the Prophet. 

" In one of the streets we came to a low gate, passing 
through which and descending a long flight of stairs, we 
entered upon an open court in front of the church of the 
Holy Sepulchre, an ancient and venerable building. Scat- 
tered about the court were motley groups of Jew pedlars, 
Turks, beggars, and Christian pilgrims. The appearance 


of a poor cripple excited my compassion, and I gave him 
a piastre ; but the consequences were fearful. The war- 
cry of the Syrian pauper, " backshish ! backshish !" in- 
stantly resounded from all quarters, and we were hemmed 
in, pressed, and swayed to and fro by the rabble. Our 
cicerone plied his stick vigorously in our defence, and it 
truly seemed to be gifted with miraculous powers, for the 
blind saw, and the lame walked, and amid their impreca- 
tions upon our Christian heads we entered the church. 

" Just within the door, seated on a raised divan, two 
sedate old Muslims were regaling themselves with minia- 
ture cups of coffee and the everlasting chiboque. Imme- 
diately in front of the entrance is the stone of unction, 
upon which, according to tradition, the body of our Lord 
was anointed. It is a plain slab of Jerusalem marble, 
slightly elevated above the floor of the church, and en- 
closed by a low railing. The pilgrims, in their pious 
fervour, crowding forward to kiss it, prevented our near 

" Turning to the left, we saw in the centre of the main 
body of the church a small oblong building, which con- 
tains the sepulchre. There were different processions 
crossing and recrossing each other with slow and mea- 
sured pace, each pilgrim with a taper in his hand, and 
the numerous choirs, in various languages, were chanting 
aloud the service of the day. The lights, the noise, and 
the moving crowd had an effect for which the mind was 
not prepared, and with far less awe than the sanctity of 
the place is calculated to inspire, we entered the sepul- 
chre. In the middle of the first apartment, for it is 
divided into two, is a stone, upon which the angel was 
seated when he informed the two Marys of the resurrec- 
tion. This room is about eight feet square, and beauti- 
fully ornamented. From this we crept through a narrow 
aperture into the inner apartment, against the north side 


of which is the sepulchre in the form of a low altar. 
It is about the same size as the first, and between the 
sepulchre and the southern wall, there is barely space to 
kneel. It was brilliantly lighted by rich and costly 

" From the sepulchre we were led to see the pillar of 
flagellation, visible through a hole in the wall, but we did 
not credit the pious imposition. Thence, we ascended 
to the altar of Calvary, with three holes beneath it, where 
were planted the crosses upon which the Saviour and the 
two thieves were crucified. The holes are cut through 
beautifully polished marble.* Near by is a fissure in the 
limestone rock, caused, it is alleged, by the earthquake 
which closed the sad drama of the crucifixion. This rent 
is certainly not an artificial one. Before leaving the 
church, we visited the tomb of Godfrey of Bouillon, and 
the place where the true cross, it is said, was found by 
the Empress Helena. 

" We next determined to visit a spot respecting the 
identity of which even the mind of the most skeptical 
can have no room for doubt. Passing through the 
Damascus gate, we skirted the northern wall, and de- 
scending into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and crossing the 
bridge over the dry bed of the Kidron, we commenced 
the ascent of the Mount of Olives. We soon reached the 
summit, but the scorching heat of a Syrian sun did not 
permit us to enjoy long the magnificent view it afforded. 
Parts of the Dead Sea were visible, and looking down 
upon it, we felt proud in being able to say that we were 
the first thoroughly to explore this sea, which has for 
ages kept its mysteries buried in the deep bosom of its 
sullen waters. 

* The writer was not aware that the surface of the natural rock had 
been cut away, and marble placed upon it. 


" On our return, we stopped at the garden of Gethse- 
mane, which is held by the Latins, who have enclosed it 
with a wall. After repeatedly knocking at the gate, we 
were about to come away, when it was opened by a gar- 
rulous old Spaniard, whose visage was as gnarled as the 
trees we now saw before us. The garden consists of eight 
enormous olive-trees, their venerable appearance truly 
typical of old age ; and there can scarcely be a reason- 
able doubt that this is, indeed, the very place where the 
Saviour wept and prayed. 

"Crossing the valley of Jehoshaphat, and ascending 
the slope of Mount Moriah, we passed by the Golden 
Gate, now walled up by the Turks. Why it is called 
c golden,' I am unable to say, unless from its rich and ela- 
borate sculpture. 

" We next came to the fountain of the Virgin, which 
flows through a subterranean passage into the pool of 
Siloam, and is thence distributed along the slope of the 
valley. The pool is near the foot of the mount, and is a 
deep oblong pit, with fragments of columns in the centre. 
There are steps leading down to it on the left side, and 
the water is muddy and shallow. Here Christ restored 
the blind man to sight. 

" Re-entering the city through the Jaffa gate, our cice- 
rone declared ' by the body of Bacchus' that he would 
show us the greatest sight in the Holy City. It was the 
Armenian convent near by. We entered through the 
portal, and were ushered into an antechamber by a sour 
looking old monk, where, in the midst of a crowd of 
camel-drivers, we waited for permission from the patriarch 
to see the riches of the convent. We were first shown 
the portraits of all preceding patriarchs, now canonized 
as saints in their calendar; while that of the present one 
was the most gorgeously framed — par excellence, the 
greatest saint of them all. Persons well versed in the art 


of discolouring canvass had painted these miserable daubs, 
which, taking the portrait of the present patriarch as a 
fair criterion, bore not the slightest resemblance to their 

" We then entered the chapel, the chef-d'oeuvre of this 
costly building. The most tasteful ornaments were the 
doors, made of tortoise-shell and inlaid with mother-of- 
pearl. The walls were of mosaic, representing saints and 
devils engaged in most furious combats; but unfortu- 
nately, although our cicerone zealously endeavoured to 
point out which were the saints and which the devils, we 
often fell into a mistake respecting them. We were 
shown throughout the convent, which is constructed in 
the well-known Saracenic style of architecture ; and the 
patriarch long detained us with an account of the im- 
provements he intended to make. 

« We returned to our hotel sorely fatigued, and for lack 
of better amusement, watched the preparations for dinner 
with more avidity than would a hungry citizen of Arkan- 
sas the like evolutions on board of a western steam- 

Jerusalem, its narrow, tortuous streets, with its pave- 
ment of large round stones, and its arches and recesses, 
time-stained and ivy-grown, and the walls of many of the 
houses, like those of the pavement, a consolidated lime- 
stone, cream-coloured and streaked with blood-red, has 
been repeatedly described. 

Visitors to Jerusalem consist, usually, of three classes : — 
the ignorant and credulous, who are prepared to believe 
everything ; the conceited and intolerant, who are equally 
determined to believe nothing ; and the weak and indo- 
lent, who side with the last, because it is easier to doubt 
than to investigate. 

The first listens with greedy ear, and assenting mind, 
to the most improbable legends. The second, stubborn 


and querulous, scoffs openly at what he hears, and laughs 
in his sleeve at the simplicity of those who differ from 
him. The third, not sufficiently ill-natured to sneer, 
adopts the opinions, without the malevolence, of others, 
who, because they are more positive, he concludes must 
be the best informed. 

Most of the wall, and all the houses of Jerusalem, were 
demolished by Titus. Who, therefore, can believe in the 
assigned localities along the "Via Dolorosa"? Who can 
credit that here the Virgin Mary was born ; there, the 
Saviour instituted the sacrament of the last supper ; or 
that yonder is the house where Pilate sat in judgment? 
Faith does not require, and true reverence would not be 
sustained by, such weak credulity. 

But there is a place which, above all others, should be 
approached with humility, — the church of the Holy 
Sepulchre ; for even the greatest cavillers admit that, if 
it do not cover all the sacred localities assigned to it, 
some, at least, may lie beneath its roof, and none can be 
very far distant from it. 

It is known that early in the second century, the pagan 
conquerors of Jerusalem erected a statue to Jupiter, on 
the site of the Holy Sepulchre, and one to Venus, on 
Mount Calvary ; — thus, the very means taken to obliterate 
the recollections of those localities, served, as has been 
often remarked, to perpetuate them. The Christians 
were never absent from the city, except at its destruction 
by Titus, when they took refuge, for a short time, in 
Pella. In less than two centuries after the destruction 
of the temple, the holy places were restored to them. So 
that they could not have forgotten them. Can the Jews 
forget the site of the temple ? 

It is not my purpose to enter into an argument. No 
one, however, should venture to approach the sacred pre- 
cincts without learning thus much; and he who, with 


this knowledge, enters them with a cavilling spirit, is a 
heartless scoffer. 

Some of our officers visited this church in company 
with a clergyman. While their minds were occupied 
with the thoughts which such a place is calculated to 
inspire in all but a perverted heart, the latter annoyed 
them by the frequent remark, " Well, I hope you will not 
be offended, but I am somewhat skeptical on this point." 
At length one of the officers said to him, " Please reserve 
your doubts for discussion elsewhere ; we do not believe 
all that is told us, but know that not far from this, if not 
here, the Saviour died." 

It is true that much takes place in these places calcu- 
lated to shake the faith of the unstable, who cannot dis- 
tinguish between what men do and what they are enjoined 
to do. The Almighty withheld from the Israelites all 
knowledge of the final resting-place of their great law- 
giver : may not the same Supreme Wisdom have left us 
in ignorance of the exact position of places infinitely more 
sacred, to preserve them from desecration, whether of 
wanton malice or intemperate zeal ? The possibility that 
any assigned spot may be the true one, and the certainty 
that it cannot be very far removed from it, is sufficient to 
inspire awe in every feeling breast. 

Disgusted with the conduct of many of the pilgrims, in 
paschal week, without looking to the impelling motive, 
many come to the sage conclusion that the temple must 
be an imposture because some of its visitors are disor- 
derly ; — which is about as fair as to judge of the nature 
of our beautiful institutions by the pugilistic combats 
which sometimes (thank God, rarely) disgrace our national 
halls of legislation. 

Intemperate zeal may be as reckless as intoxication 
from drink ; — but is the sincere Christian to be, therefore, 
classed with a fanatic; or a sober citizen with an ine- 


briate ? At all events, on such a subject, an excess of 
enthusiasm is preferable to insensibility; and he who 
believes and bows down is more to be envied than he that 
stands scornfully erect because unconvinced by so many 
feet and inches. He who, in such places, with tape-line 
and rule, employs himself measuring the sizes of objects, 
and their exact distances from each other, thereby endea- 
vouring not only to destroy what he persuades himself 
are the illusions, but absolutely undermining the religious 
belief, of others, is little better than a heathen. 
f There is nothing which so perverts the heart as intel- 
lectual pride. The calamities which have most afflicted 
and debased our race have sprung from the abuse of the 
free and gifted intellect. In the perversity of a corrupt 
will, and in the excesses of a presumptuous understand- 
ing, man has frightfully abused the powers entrusted to 
him for high and holy purposes. Too often, the extent 
of human knowledge is the measure of human crime. 

History, revelation, and tradition, unite to teach us 
that the unchastened will, and the perverted genius, 
seeking to snatch the forbidden fruit, have been man's 
first, greatest, unforgiven sin. While other crimes seem 
rather to excite the pity than to provoke the imme- 
diate wrath of heaven, and, by degrading the soaring 
spirit to the earth, serve to humble its pride, this appears 
to be a rebellion against Him, who is a jealous God, and 
who will avenge his cause. From the fall of the son of 
the morning star, who, in the excess of a presumptuous 
understanding, dared to wage war " against the throne 
and monarchy of God," down, through the deserted paths 
of paradise, to the terrible convulsions of the last century, 
when an impiety, second only to that of the archangel 
ruined, met with a punishment scarcely less horrible, we 
see, everywhere, this frightful lesson written in characters 
of ruin. 


Yet mind is not like the " corporal rind" with which it 
is " immanacled," subjected to age, and decay, and de- 
crepitude. Nor is it refluent in its essence, having a 
latent power within, or a controlling principle without, 
which proclaims, thus far shalt thou go, and no farther. 
It is immortal in its energies and aspirings — ever ad- 
vancing and to advance — soaring still higher and higher 
with untiring wing, and gaining new scope and vigour 
from every flight towards Him from whom it descended, 
and with whose image it is stamped. Limitless and free, 
its nature is progressive, its spring is upward ; no barrier 
to check its lofty aspirations ; no power to control its 
daring flight ; no obstacle to stay its resistless progress, 
hut its own wild and erring presumption, its own fiery 
and impetuous promptings, its own inherent and rebellious 
pride. As long as, with humble heart and chastened will, 
it seeks the end of its being in the ocean of truth, its 
stream can never flow backward. 

Such is the law of all intelligence. "The rapt seraph 
that adores and burns," the chief of the hierarchy of 
Heaven, the moment he deems himself sufficient for his 
own support, by that one act of impious self-idolatry, 
falls, headlong, from his high estate. 

Such is the awful and salutary lesson which we glean 
from that book, which contains all that is useful in time 
and hopeful in the future. 

As if to impress indelibly upon the soul of man the ter- 
rible consequences of a presumptuous intellect, a jealous 
Deity has enforced the lesson with special revelations. 
He has not only bestowed upon us the godlike capacity 
of reason to collect and compare the fruits of experience 
in the ages which have been gathered to the past, but he 
has suspended the arm of the cherubim, that we might 
enter the forbidden paths of paradise to read, beneath the 
tree of knowledge, the price of disobedience. And he 


has unbarred the gates of heaven itself, that, in the fall 
of the angelic hosts, we might tremble at the instant and 
irremediable ruin which followed the single sin of thought. 
One truth we therefore know, that, unaccompanied with 
an upright heart and a chastened will, with the morality 
which springs from religion, the measure of man's intel- 
lect is the measure of his ruin. The pride of wealth 
inspires contempt, and the pride of place awakens resent- 
ment, — they are human follies, and are punished by 
human means ; but the pride of intellect, wherein the 
gifted wars with the Giver, is a crime which the dread 
Creator has reserved for special retribution. 

There is a remark of H. Davy, so appropriate to this 
subject, that I cannot withhold it : — "I envy no quality 
of the mind or intellect of others, — not genius, wit, nor 
fancy ; but if I could choose what would be most delight- 
ful, and, I believe, most useful to me, I prefer a firm 
religious belief to any other blessing ; for it makes disci- 
pline of good, creates new hopes when earthly hopes 
vanish, and throws over the decay, the destruction of 
existence, the most gorgeous of all lights; awakens life 
in death, and, from corruption and decay, calls up beauty 
and divinity ; makes an instrument of misfortune and of 
shame the ladder of ascent to paradise, and, far above all 
combinations of earthly hopes, calls up the most delight- 
ful visions of palms and amaranths, — the gardens of the 
blest, and the security of everlasting joys, where the sen- 
sualist and the skeptic view only gloom, decay, annihila- 
tion, and despair." 

My apology for touching on this subject, which is with- 
out my sphere and above my capacity, is the pain I have 
felt, with others, in witnessing the effects of the cavilling 
spirit of those who plume themselves on being considered 
the most literary of modern travellers to the Holy Land. 
For their peace of mind here, I hope that they may never 


know how much they have injured a cause, of which 
some of them are the professed champions ; and, for their 
future welfare, every true Christian will pray that the 
evil has not been premeditated. I have not meant to 
reflect upon those who honestly doubt ; for faith is not a 
product of reason, but a gift, an inspiration from on high. 
I allude to those whose intellectual pride prompts them 
to parade their own attainments in opposition to, rather 
than in the search of, truth, — which never shrinks from 
a fair encounter. In the words of Milton, "Truth is 
strong, next to the Almighty." The mists of human 
prejudice cannot long withstand the penetrating light 
of truth, — which is the purest ray, reflected from the 
brightest gem in the diadem of the Great Jehovah. 

Thursday, May 18. Visited, to-day, the church of the 
Holy Sepulchre, and other places consecrated by tradi- 
tion. All these localities have been so repeatedly and so 
minutely described by other writers, as to be familiar to 
the minds of every Sunday-school scholar, beyond the age 
of childhood, at home ; and Jerusalem itself is, geogra- 
phically, better known to the educated classes in the 
United States, than Boston, New York, or Philadelphia, 
to those who do not reside in and have not visited them. 

Neither need anything be said of the present condition 
and future prospects of Palestine ; for it is a theme too 
copious for this work, even if it were not above the capa- 
city of its author. I can only express an opinion, founded 
upon what I have seen and heard, that the fanaticism of 
the Turks is fast subsiding, with the rapid diminution of 
their number, while the Christian and Jewish population 
is increasing. As yet, this holds good only of the capital. 
The country traversed by nomadic tribes, and cultivated 
but in patches, continues to be as insecure as it is unpro- 
ductive. But, like the swelling of the waters which pre- 
cede the tide of flood, there are indications of a favourable 

THE JEWS. 415 

change. The Muhammedan rule, that political sirocco, 
which withers all before it, is fast losing the fierce energy 
which was its peculiar characteristic, and the world is 
being gradually prepared for the final dismemberment of 
the Ottoman empire. 

It needs but the destruction of that power which, for 
so many centuries, has rested like an incubus upon the 
eastern world, to ensure the restoration of the Jews to 
Palestine. The increase of toleration; the assimilation 
of creeds ; the unanimity with which all works of charity 
are undertaken, prove, to the observing mind, that, ere 
long, with every other vestige of bigotry, the prejudices 
against this unhappy race will be obliterated by a noble 
and a God-like sympathy. " Many a Thor, with all his 
eddas, must first be swept into dimness ;" — but the time 
will come. All things are onward ; and, in God's provi- 
dence, all things are good. 

How eventful, yet how fearful, is the history of this 
people ! " The Almighty, moved by their lamentations, 
determined, not only to relieve them from Egyptian 
bondage, but to make them the chosen depositary of his 
law, by the observance of which men might be gradually 
prepared for the advent of the Saviour. Living at first 
under a theocracy, the most perfect form of government 
that can exist, for it unites infinite wisdom with power 
supreme ;" and subsequently, under judges, prophets, and 
kings, the Israelites were led through wondrous vicissi- 
tudes to the trying scene, which crowned their perfidy 
with an act so atrocious that, like the glimmer of an 
earthly torch before the lurid glare of pandemonium, 
their previous crimes sunk into insignificance ; and nature 
thrilled with horror as she looked upon the deicides, their 
hands imbrued in the blood they should have worshipped. 
Yet even this sin will be forgiven them ; and the fulfil- 
ment of the prophecy with regard to the Egyptians 


ensures the accomplishment of the numerous ones which 
predict the restoration of the tribes. Besides overwhelm- 
ing Pharaoh and his host, the Almighty decreed, through 
Ezekiel, that Egypt should never obey a native sceptre. 
From Cambyses to the Mamelukes ; from Muhammed to 
Ali Pasha, how wonderfully has this judgment been car- 
ried out ! 

From the 15th to the 22d of May was devoted to 
making astronomical observations, and reconnoitering the 
country for the most eligible route to level across to the 
Mediterranean. All the time not appropriated to duty, 
was spent in visiting over and over again the interesting 
localities in and around Jerusalem. Above all others, 
the spot least doubted, and very far from the least hal- 
lowed, was the garden of Gethsemane. It is enclosed by 
a high stone wall, and when we saw it, the trees were in 
blossom ; the clover upon the ground in bloom, and alto- 
gether, in its aspect and its associations, was better calcu- 
lated than any place I know to soothe a troubled spirit. 

Eight venerable trees, isolated from the smaller and 
less imposing ones which skirt the base of the Mount of 
Olives, form a consecrated grove. High above, on either 
hand, towers a lofty mountain, with the deep, yawning 
chasm of Jehoshaphat between them. Crowning one of 
them is Jerusalem, a living city; on the slope of the 
other is the great Jewish cemetery, a city of the dead. 
Each tree in this grove, cankered, and gnarled, and fur- 
rowed by age, yet beautiful and impressive in its decay, 
is a living monument of the affecting scenes that have 
taken place beneath and around it. The olive perpetuates 
itself, and from the root of the dying parent stem, the 
young tree springs into existence. These trees are ac- 
counted 1000 years old. Under those of the preceding 
growth, therefore, the Saviour was wont to rest; and 
one of the present may mark the very spot where he 










V 7~r^ 


knelt, and prayed, and wept. No cavilling doubts can 
find entrance here. The geographical boundaries are too 
distinct and clear for an instant's hesitation. Here the 
Christian, forgetful of the present, and absorbed in the 
past, can resign himself to sad yet soothing meditation. 
The few purple and crimson flowers, growing about the 
roots of the trees, will give him ample food for contem- 
plation, for they tell of the suffering life and ensanguined 
death of the Kedeemer. 

On the same slope and a little below Gethsemane, facing 
the city, are the reputed tombs of Absalom, Zachariah, 
St. James, and Jehoshaphat, the last giving its name to 
the valley. Some of them are hewn bodily from the 
rock, and the whole form a remarkable group. That of 
Absalom in particular, from its peculiar tint, as well as 
from its style of architecture, reminded us of the descrip- 
tions of the sepulchral monuments of Petra. It is eight 
feet square, surmounted by a rounded pyramid, and there 
are six semi-columns to each face, which are of the same 
mass with the body of the sepulchre. 

The tomb of Zachariah is also hewn square from the 
rock, and its four sides form a pyramid. The tomb of Je- 
hoshaphat has a handsomely carved door ; and a portico 
with four columns indicates the sepulchre where St. 
James, the apostle, concealed himself. 

It was in the valley of Jehoshaphat that Melchisedec, 
king of Salem, met Abraham on his return from defeating 
the five kings in the vale of Siddim. In the depths of 
this ravine Moloch was worshipped, beneath the temple 
of the Most High, which crowned the summit of Mount 
Mori ah. 

In the village of Siloam, the scene of Solomon's apos- 
tasy, the living have ejected the dead, and there are as 
many dwelling in tombs as in houses. Beneath it, at the 
base of the Mount of Offence, is the great burial-ground, 



the desired final resting-place of Jews all over the world. 
The flat stones, rudely sculptured with Hebrew characters, 
lie, as the tenants beneath were laid, with their faces 
towards heaven. In the village above it and in the city 
over against it, the silence is almost as death-like as in 
the grave-yard itself. Here the voice of hilarity or the 
hum of social intercourse is never heard, and when man 
meets his fellow there is no social greeting. The air here 
never vibrates with the melodious voice of woman, the 
nearest approach to a celestial sound ; but, shrouded from 
head to foot, she flits about, abashed and shrinking like 
some guilty thing. This profound silence is in keeping 
with the scene. Along the slope of the hill, above the 
village, the Master, on his way to Bethany, was wont 
to teach his followers the sublime truths of the gospel. 
'On its acclivity, a little more to the north, he wept for 
the fate of Jerusalem. In the garden below, he was 
betrayed, and within those city walls he was crucified. 
Everything is calculated to inspire with awe, and it is 
fitting that, except in prayer, the human voice should not 
disturb these sepulchral solitudes. 

From the slope of the Mount of Olives projects a rock, 
pointed out by tradition as the one whereon the Saviour 
sat when he predicted and wept over the fate of Jerusalem. 
It is farther alleged that upon this spot Titus pitched his 
camp when besieging the city. Neither the prediction 
nor its accomplishment required such a coincidence to 
make it impressive. The main camp of the besiegers was 
north of the city, but as the sixth legion was posted on 
the Mount of Olives, the tradition may not be wholly 

A little higher, were some grotto-like excavations, hypo- 
thetically called the Tombs of the Prophets ; and above 
them, were some arches, under which, it is said, the 
Apostles composed the creed. Yet above, the spot is 



pointed out where the Messiah taught his disciples the 
Lord's Prayer, — that beautiful compend of all that it is 
necessary for man to ask, whether for time or eternity. 

On the summit of the mount are many wheat-fields, 
and it is crowned with a paltry village, a small mosque, 
and the ruined church of the Ascension. In the naked 
rock, which is the floor of the mosque, an indentation is 
shown as the foot-print of the Messiah, when he ascended 
to heaven. Apart from the sites of the Temple, of Cal- 
vary, and of the Holy Sepulchre, the assigned localities 
within the city walls, such as the Arch of the Ecce Homo, 
and the house of the rich man before whose gate Lazarus 
laid, are unworthy of credit. But those without the 
walls, like the three first-named within them, are geogra- 
phically defined, and of imperishable materials. While 
one, therefore, may not be convinced with regard to all, 
he feels that the traditions respecting them are not wholly 

From the summit, the view was magnificent. On the 
one hand lay Jerusalem, with its yellow walls, its towers, 
its churches, its dome-roof houses, and its hills and valleys, 
covered with orchards and fields of green and golden grain, 
while beneath, distinct and near, the mosque of Omar, 
the Harem (the Sacred), lay exposed to our infidel gaze, 
with its verdant carpet and groves of cypress, beneath 
whose holy shade none but the faithful can seek repose. 
On the other hand was the valley of Jordan, a barren 
plain, with a line of verdure marking the course of the 
sacred river, until it was lost in an expanse of sluggish 
water, which we recognised as the familiar scene of our 
recent labours. The rays of the descending sun shone 
full upon the Arabian shore, and we could see the castle 
of Kerak, perched high up in the country of Moab, and 
the black chasm of Zerka, through which flows the hot 
and sulphureous stream of Callirohoe. 


No other spot in the world commands a view so deso- 
late, and, at the same time, so interesting and impressive. 
The yawning ravine of Jehoshaphat, immediately beneath, 
was verdant with vegetation, which became less and less 
luxuriant, until, a few miles below, it was lost in a huge 
torrent bed, its sides bare precipitous rock, and its bed 
covered with boulders, whitened with saline deposit, and 
calcined by the heat of a Syrian sun. Beyond it, south, 
stretched the desert of Judea ; and to the north, was the 
continuous chain of this almost barren mountain. These 
mountains were not always thus barren and unproductive. 
The remains of terraces yet upon their slopes, prove that 
this country, now almost depopulated, once maintained a 
numerous and industrious people. 

North of Gethsemane, nearer the bed of the ravine and 
the one-arched bridge which spans it, is a subterranean 
church, in a grotto reputed to contain the tomb of the 
Virgin Mary. Having no faith in the tradition, which is 
based on an improbable legend, I did not visit it ; but in 
passing by, just from the garden, and accoutred in a soiled 
and salt-encrusted dress, the only one I had, I saw a Eu- 
ropean fop ascending the flight of steps, attired in a short 
frock, tightly-fitting pants, a jockey-cap upon his head, a 
riding-whip in his hand, and the lines of his face wreathed 
in a smile of smirking self-conceit, — not one feature of the 
man or his dress in keeping with the scenes around him. 

H. B. M. Consul, Mr. Finn, as I have before said, 
kindly took charge of the money I sent to him ; and, fur- 
thermore, put himself to great trouble in paying the 
drafts which, from time to time, I made upon it; and, 
also, in forwarding provisions to our depot at Ain Jidy. 
In all matters of business, he was as attentive as he 
could have been were he our own consular representative. 
But from none of the foreign residents in Jerusalem did 
we receive the slightest personal attention. This I ascribe 


to the condition of our wardrobe. Before commencing 
the descent of the Jordan, we had been compelled to send 
back from Tiberias everything that could possibly be dis- 
pensed with. Each one, officer and man, retained only 
the suit he wore, with a change of linen ; and, whenever 
circumstances permitted, did his own washing. Some- 
times, when both of those garments required the process, 
we laid in the water until one of them had dried. From 
an indifferent tailor, we procured a few articles of dress a 
short time previous to our departure from Jerusalem, but 
had to be economical, in order to reserve what money 
remained for the necessary expenses of the expedition. 
I mention the circumstance, not as a matter of complaint, 
but to account to any of those gentlemen who may see 
this, for our toil-worn and shabby appearance. 

Returning from the Mount of Olives, we passed along 
the hill of Zion, and made another circuit of the city. 

A little below the gate of St. Stephen is the pool of 
Bethesda, where our Saviour healed the paralytic. It is 
now dry, and partly filled with rubbish. 

Yet farther south, in the face of the eastern wall, near 
the court of the mosque of Omar, is the Golden gate, now 
built up. Through this gate, it is supposed, the Messiah en- 
tered in triumph on the Sunday preceding his crucifixion. 

Some distance down, is the Fountain of the Virgin ; 
and yet farther below, the pool of Siloam, which has been 
mentioned before. The water, which is hard and unpa- 
latable to the taste, has no regular current, but ebbs and 
flows at intervals of a few minutes. 

North of the city, on the margin of the Damascus road, 
was a picturesque scene — hundreds of Jews, enjoying the 
fresh air, seated under enormous olive-trees — the women 
all in white shrouds, the men in various costumes — some 
with broad-brimmed black hats, and many with fur caps. 
There were also many Turks and Christians abroad. 


The Jewesses, while they enveloped their figures in loose 
and uncomely robes, allowed their faces to be seen ; and 
the Christian and the Turkish female exhibited, the one, 
perhaps, too much, the other, nothing whatever of her 
person and attire. There was also a marriage-procession, 
which was more funereal than festive. The women, as 
usual, clothed all in white, like so many spectres, chaunted 
unintelligibly, in a low, monotonous, wailing tone ; while 
some, apparently the most antique, for they tottered 
most, closed each bar with a scream like a diapason. 
The least natural and the most pompous feature of the 
scene, was the foreign consuls, promenading with their 
families, preceded by Janissaries, with silver-mounted 
batons, stalking solemnly along, like so many drum- 
majors of a marching regiment. As the sun sank behind 
the western hills, the pedestrians walked faster, and the 
sitters gathered themselves up and hastened within the 

The present walls of the city were rebuilt in the 16th 
century, and vary from thirty to sixty or seventy feet in 
height, according to the inequalities of the ground. They 
are about ten feet thick at the base, narrowing to the top. 
The stones are evidently of different eras, extending back 
to the period of Roman sway, if not to the time when 
Judea was an independent kingdom. Some massive 
pieces near the south-eastern angle, bear marks of great 
antiquity. From a projecting one, the Turks have a pre- 
diction that Muhammed, their Prophet, will judge his 
followers. We have also a prediction respecting this 
vicinity which will prove as true as the other is fabulous. 
It is up the valley of Jehoshaphat that the prophet Joel 
declares the quick and the dead shall come to judgment. 

On the third day after our arrival, we went to Bethle- 
hem, two hours distant. Going out of the Jaffa gate, and 
obliquely descending the western flank of Mount Zion, we 


crossed the valley of the son of Hinnom (Wady Gehenna, 
or valley of Hell), by the wall of the lower pool of Gihon. 
The road then turned southwardly, and ran mostly parallel 
with the aqueduct from Solomon's pools. This aqueduct 
consists of stones hollowed into cylinders, well cemented 
at the joints, and supported upon walls or terraces of rock 
or earth, and mostly concealed from sight. Here and 
there, a more than usual luxuriance of vegetation indi- 
cated places where water was drawn from it to irrigate 
the olive orchards which, for much of the way, abounded 
on our left; and occasionally, a stone drawn aside dis- 
closed a fracture in the trough beneath, where the tra- 
veller might quench his thirst. 

We soon came to the well of the Magi, assigned by tra- 
dition as the spot where the star reappeared to the wise 
men from the east. The country on our left was here 
broken and rough, and on the right was the plain of 
Kephaim, with the convent of John the Baptist, erected 
on the spot where the great precursor was born, and the 
grotto where the Virgin Mary pronounced that sublime 
hymn, beginning " My soul doth magnify the Lord." 
We next came to the tomb of Rachel, in the plain of 
Ramah, — a modern Turkish building, but the locality of 
which is believed to be correctly assigned. It is a small 
building, with two apartments, the one over the tomb 
being surmounted by a dome. On the right was the wil- 
derness of St. John, wherein the Baptist practised his 
austerities. In that direction, too, is the valley of Elah, 
where David slew the giant ; and in the valley before us, 
it is said the army of Sennacherib the Assyrian was en- 
camped, when 

" The angel of death spread his wings on the blast." 

Ascending the hill from the tomb, and for the second time 
during the ride recognising the Dead Sea through gorges 


in the mountains, we passed some extensive olive orchards, 
and after turning aside to the left to look at a nearly dry 
cistern called David's Well, and admiring the luxuriant 
groves of olives and figs, and the many vineyards which 
beautify the head of the ravine of Ta'amirah, we entered 
Bethlehem, the " city of king David," and the birthplace 
of the Redeemer ; and went direct to the Franciscan con- 
vent, a large, massive, and ancient building. The church 
within it, erected by the Empress Helena, is in the form 
of a cross. It is supported by four rows of twelve columns 
each, without a ceiling, and presented the appearance 
of a net-work of longitudinal and transverse beams of 
wood, with the roof above them. But this church, and 
the grotto of the Nativity within it, has been repeatedly 
and accurately described. 

Many visitors to Bethlehem have persuaded themselves 
to use the words of a recent one, " that the Saviour was 
not born in a subterraneous cavern like this, difficult of 
access to cattle, but in an approachable stable attached to 
the khan, or inn, in which the virgin mother could not be 
accommodated." Without dwelling on our own observa- 
tion of the frequent and almost universal appropriation, 
where practicable, of caverns and recesses in the rocks for 
sheltering man and beast from the heat and inclemency 
of the weather, and forbearing to quote from Stephens, 
whose experience was similar to our own, I extract some 
passages from Calmet's dissertation upon the habitations 
of the ancient Hebrews, to show that such places were 
frequently selected as desirable human dwellings. 

" The rocks and the caverns were not only places of 
retreat, and forts against enemies, in times of war and 
trouble ; they were also ordinary dwelling-places, both 
commodious and agreeable, in the country of the Israel- 
ites. On the coasts of the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, 
in the mountains of Armenia, in the Balearic Islands, 


and in the isle of Malta, we learn that certain people had 
no other homes than the hollows of the rocks, scooped out 
by their own labours; from which circumstance they 
took the name of Troglodytes, which signifies, in Greek, 
those who hide themselves in caverns. 

" In short, they were the ordinary retreat of the prophets 
and the just in times of persecution, to avoid the machi- 
nations of the wicked ; and in times of peace, to fly from 
the corruptions of the world, and to exercise themselves 
in practices of piety and prayer. It was this mode of life 
that Elias, St. John the Baptist, and Jesus Christ adopted. 

" The summer habitations were of various kinds, or 
rather, they had various means of protecting themselves 
from the extreme heat of the sun. Sometimes it was in 
places deep and hidden, where its ardour could not pene- 
trate, under crypts, subterranean porticoes, &c."* 

To the east of Bethlehem is the hill where the shep- 
herds heard the annunciation of the birth of the Messiah ; 
and in the plain below, the field where Ruth gleaned after 
the reapers. The country around was luxuriant with 
vegetation, and the yellow grain, even as we looked, was 
falling beneath the sickle. Variegated flint, chalk and 
limestone, without fossils, cropped out occasionally on the 
hill-sides ; but along the lower slopes, and in the bottom 
of the valley, were continuous groves, with a verdant 
carpet beneath them. It was the most rural and the 
loveliest spot we had seen in Palestine. From among 
many flowers we gathered a beautiful white one, free 
from all earthly taint, fit emblem of the purity of the 
infant Godhead. 

* Those who wish to see more on the subject, are referred to Pliny, lib. 
vi. c. 29. Strabo, lib. xi. c. 26. Diodorus Siculus, lib. v. Josephus' 
Antiq., lib. xiv. c. 27, where he speaks of the caverns of Galilee. Genesis, 
xix. 30. Judges, xv. 8. 1 Kings, x. 11; xxiv. 4. Judges, vi. 2. 
1 Kings, xiii. 6. 3 Kings, xviii. 4. Hebrews, xi. 38. 



This was not the only time we visited Bethlehem ; but, 
although my notes are copious, I deem it unnecessary to 
say anything more of a place which has been so often 
and so well described. The same remark holds good of 
the tombs of the kings, or of the Empress Helena, the 
grotto of Jeremiah, and other places within and without 
the walls of Jerusalem. 

In the Latin convent at Jerusalem, poor pilgrims are 
allowed to remain thirty days, with two meals a-day, free 
of cost; in the one at Bethlehem, three days; and at 
Ramleh, one day. No Frank is permitted to hold real 
estate in Palestine, or, I believe, in any part of the 
Turkish dominions. In the country around Jerusalem, 
olives, figs, wheat, barley, dhoura, lentils, melons, cucum- 
bers, artichokes, and many leguminous plants and Irish 
potatoes are cultivated ; the last in small, experimental 
patches. The silk-worm is also reared, and some little 
silk is made. 



Monday, May 22, Having completed all the necessary 
arrangements, given the officers and men time to recruit, 
and to see Jerusalem and its vicinity, I settled the 
accounts of the Expedition with H. B. M. Consul, Mr. 
Finn, broke up the camp, and started to run the line of 
level across to the Mediterranean, thirty-three miles dis- 
tant, in a direct line. The desert being passed, we sub- 
stituted mules for camels, to transport our baggage. 

1 P. M. We recommenced levelling from the bench- 
mark we had made north-west of Jerusalem, and carried 


the line to the highest point, but little less than four 
thousand feet above the surface of the Dead Sea, before 
skirting down the Wady Liifte. 

The road, which was frightful, ran at first along the 
mountain ridge, looking down into the beautiful valley, 
with a convent toward the head of the gorge, and Ghebel 
Samwil, the highest peak in Palestine, towering to the 
north-west, its summit crowned with a ruined mosque. 
It is supposed to be the Mozpeh of the Old Testament, the 
reputed birth-place and the tomb of the Prophet Samuel. 

We here overtook a number of Jews, of both sexes and 
various ages. They were separating, one part to return 
to the city, the other to pursue the route towards the sea 
coast. Their sobs and tears, and clinging embraces, were 
truly affecting. 

The vegetation increased in luxuriance, and in vivid- 
ness of colour, as we descended. The mountain-sides 
are cut in terraces, many of them but a few yards wide, 
bearing olive, fig, and apricot trees, and numerous exten- 
sive vineyards. 

At 3.25, crossed a massive stone bridge of one arch, 
which spans the now dry torrent bed of Kiilonieh, and 
proceeding half a mile farther, stopped for the night on 
the edge of an olive-grove, a short distance from a foun- 
tain. The tents looked picturesque, pitched upon the 
green sward, with the highly cultivated valley before, 
and the village of Kulonieh perched high on the hill 
above them. Soon after camping, we caught a cameleon, 
six inches long. It was deep green, with dark spots ; but 
the colour became of a lighter hue, and turned brown, 
when the animal was placed upon a stone.* 

By a regulation most necessary for the security of tra- 

* This cameleon was brought safely home, together with a pheasant 
from the vale of Sharon. Nearly everything else, including some singular 
blue pigeons from the Dead Sea, perished. 


vellers, the nomadic tribes are not permitted to pitch 
their tents west of Jerusalem. The only extortion to be 
now apprehended, is from the powerful and rapacious 
family of Abu Ghiish, the sheikh of which, Lamartine, 
with his usual exaggeration, represents as having fifty 
thousand Arabs, subject to his sway. In order to evade 
the severe military conscription under the Egyptian rule, 
some of the Arabs of this district put out one of their 
eyes ; but Ibrahim Pasha counteracted their purpose, by 
forming a one-eyed regiment. 

The night was clear, and quite cool ; the dew fell 
heavily, and the morning found us enveloped in a mist. 

Tuesday, May 23. At 4 A. M., very cold. Wishing to 
send some things to Jaffa, which were cumbersome to 
carry about, and could be dispensed with, I roused one of 
the Arab mule-drivers, and bade him go up to the village, 
about a mile distant, and procure another mule. He 
sprang instantly to his feet, and, from where he stood, 
called out in a stentorian voice to some one in the village. 
To my surprise, he was answered almost immediately, and 
very soon afterwards the mule was brought. It is astonish- 
ing how far, and how distinctly, the Arabs can hear and 
recognise each other's voices in this hilly country. In 
the descent of the Jordan, and repeatedly along the cliffs 
of the Dead Sea, when we could only hear a faint halloo, 
or inarticulate sounds, our swarthy friends could distin- 
guish words, and sometimes recognise the tribe of the 
speaker from his voice. They seem to have distinctive 
cries, corresponding to the whoops of our Indians. 

We have often thought that we detected a resemblance, 
in many respects, between the Arabs and our North Ame- 
rican Indians ; but we were like those who, at a super- 
ficial glance, pronounce a portrait to be an exact simili- 
tude of the original, which, on a close inspection, exhibits 
such traits of difference, that they are astonished at their 


first impression. The nomadic mode of life, the colour 
of the skin, the prominent cheek-bones, and the black 
hair and eyes, present a similarity of appearance which, 
at first, misleads an observer. By slow degrees, however, 
traits of character are developed, and peculiarities of 
manner exhibited, which proclaim a marked and striking 

In his most repulsive aspect, the North American 
savage is a being lusty and ferocious, over whose counte- 
nance the light of intelligence casts but a feeble and lin- 
gering ray. He exhibits no trait whatever of that fore- 
thought which is the great characteristic of the grandeur 
of the human mind. To gather the fruit, he fells the 
tree ; he slaughters the oxen bestowed upon him by the 
missionary to till his lands ; and with the fragments of 
his plough he builds the fire to roast his food. From his 
civilized neighbour he seeks nothing but gunpowder, to 
destroy his brethren, and intoxicating spirits, to destroy 
himself; and, relying upon the undying avarice of the white 
man, he never dreams of manufacturing them. The son 
murders the father, to relieve him from the ennui of old 
age, and his wife destroys the fruit of his passion in her 
womb, to escape the duties of a nurse. He snatches the 
bleeding scalp from his yet living foe ; he tears the flesh 
from his body ; he roasts it and devours it amid songs of 
triumph ; and if he can procure ardent spirits, he drinks 
to intoxication, to madness, to death, insensible alike to 
the reason which restrains man by his fears, and the 
instinct which repels the animal by distaste. To all 
human judgment, he seems a doomed being, smitten for 
his crimes by an avenging Hand, in the innermost recesses 
of his moral conformation, so that he who regards him 
with an observant eye, trembles as he views.* Hence it 

* This view of the character of the North American Indian has once 
before been presented, in the columns of a periodical. 


has been charged that, " in the commission of a crime, 
the savage but follows his nature, while, by the same act, 
we violate our own ;" and it is therefore inferred that he 
can never be reclaimed. They who reason thus are but 
shallow observers, and confound the bias of education 
with inherent propensities. The child of the meekest 
Christian of the land, if torn from the parental roof, and 
brought up from infancy in a wigwam, would become a 
blood-thirsty and ferocious savage ; while the papoose, 
exchanging conditions, might be a zealous missionary of 
the Gospel. Instances of the former are frequent in our 
border history ; and an educated Indian, not very long 
since, died, holding a commission in the medical corps of 
the Navy. 

Beneath the frightful exterior of the North American 
savage, there are noble attributes. Such races are as 
necessary for the well-being of the human family as the 
whirlwind to the atmosphere when it sweeps through the 
forest and bears off the decaying and tainting vegetation. 
Such men, or not far removed from such, were the ancient 
Northmen, the Goths, and the Yandals. And now the 
countries overrun and settled by them are the most 
polished on the surface of the globe. England occupies the 
key-stone of the arch of civilization ; France has long been 
proverbial for its refinement ; and in Italy, the temple of 
the arts, the painter and the sculptor seek for the most 
beautiful models. The tide is now setting the other way, 
and civilization is overwhelming barbarism. Whether the 
Indian is to be swept away, or the red-man become 
merged with the white, time alone can determine. 

The distinctive trait of the American savage is his vin- 
dictiveness towards an enemy. The ruling passion of an 
Arab is greediness of gold, which he will clutch from the 
unarmed stranger, or filch from an unsuspecting friend. 
The Indian, seeking only a trophy, as a record of his 


achievement, is content with the scalp of the foe he has 
slain in war. The Arab lurks in the crevices of the rock, 
and, from his covert, fires upon the peaceful traveller, 
that he may rifle his body of his money and clothes. It 
is the ambition of an Indian father to bestow his daughter 
on the bravest warrior of the tribe : an Arab sheikh will 
sell his child to the meanest fellah, if he be the highest 
bidder. The Arab is yet more lascivious than the Indian ; 
and in no part of the world is the condition of woman 
more abject than it is in the East. The wandering Arab 
does not, like the wild Indian, destroy the implements of 
agriculture, but watches and waits, and sweeps off the 
fresh-gathered harvest of the laborious and timid fellahin. 
The Arab will extort money from his guest, and expects 
a backshish for the slightest act of hospitality. The 
Indian, without dreaming of recompense, will share his 
last morsel, and, with his life, protect the stranger who 
has sought the shelter of his wigwam. To the noisy 
children of the desert, intoxicating drink is unknown ; 
and, in that respect, their condition is far superior to that 
of the more taciturn but intemperate hunters of the forest. 
But the greatest distinction of all is, that while the North 
American savage, except in war or the chase, evinces no 
forethought whatever, the Arabian is cautious to the 
extreme of timidity. The one is reckless, the other cal- 
culating. The one, when roused, is implacable ; the 
other barters forgiveness of the deepest injuries for a new 
wife, or her equivalent in money. The Arab, therefore, 
to the best of my judgment, is as far inferior to the 
North American Indian as an insatiate love of gold is 
more ignoble than a spirit of revenge. The distinction 
drawn by Chateaubriand is as beautiful as it is true : — 
" In the American (Indian) everything proclaims the 
savage who has not yet arrived at a state of civilization ; 


in the Arab, everything indicates the civilized man who 
has returned to the savage state." 

Started, after an early breakfast ; the road, execrable, 
leading along the skirts and over the crests of mountains ; 
the ravines and the slopes fertile and highly cultivated ; 
the ridges bare and verdureless. From the highest peak, 
we had anticipated another and a last view of Jerusalem, 
but it was concealed by intervening hills. Nebi Samwil 
towered above us to the north. The country bordering 
the ravine became more beautiful as we descended in the 
afternoon, and a little before sunset we encamped at 'Ain 
Dilbeh (Fountain of the Plane-tree), near Beit Nakubeh 
(House of Nakubeh). There were some old ruins about 
the spring. In the bed of the ravine there were fields of 
grain ; on the lower slopes, vineyards and olive-groves ; 
above them, dwarf oak-trees and bushes; and towards 
and along the summits, huge masses and scattered frag- 
ments of rock. On a hill in the distance, was a ruin, 
pointed out as the castle of the Macchabees ; and among 
those hills, it is supposed that the Virgin visited the 
mother of the Baptist. In our route this day, we may 
have crossed the dry bed of the brook where David 
gathered the pebbles, with one of which he slew the 
Philistine. In this neighbourhood, it is supposed was 
the village of Emmaus, on the road to which our Saviour 
conversed with two of his disciples after his resurrection. 

We found here the hop-trefoil, a small clover, with 
yellow flowers and hop-like heads; also a pink, with 
viscid flower-stalks, the first sometimes seen, the last 
common, at home. 

From the vestiges about it, this spot seemed to be a 
favourite camping-ground of travellers. We found here 
some mules laden with baggage, marked "Miss Cooper, 
by steamer Novelty." The lady, attended by an escort, 
soon after made her appearance, and expressed the opi- 


nion, which will be confirmed as she advances, that " the 
roads are very bad in this country." 

Every preceding camp seems to have left its colony 
here. We were annoyed during the night by all kinds 
of vermin. The weather was cool and damp, and the 
cries of jackals down in the ravine were incessant. The 
cry very much resembles that of a person in distress. 

Wednesday, May 24. Descended the ravine into the 
vale of Jeremiah by the village of 'Kuryet el 'Enab (vil- 
lage of grapes), the Kirjath-jearim of the Bible, where it 
is said the prophet was born. When passing the village 
the sheikh, with the evident purpose of levying tribute, 
came out and forbade us to level through his territory ; 
but we paid no attention to the terrible Abu Ghush 
(father of lies) . He then rode within forty or fifty yards 
of the interpreter, who was in advance of the levelling 
party, and called out in an imperious tone, " toorgeman, 
talon !" (interpreter, come here) ; to which the latter, 
half turning round, but without rising from his position, 
replied " talon I" The sheikh at length went up to him, 
and demanded by what right we attempted to pass 
through his territory, stating that none could do so with- 
out his permission. The firman was shown to him. 
After reading it, he said that it mentioned nothing about 
surveying the road, and that one thousand armed men 
could not pass against his will. We told him that he had 
better consent then, for we had the sanction of his supe- 
riors and were not to be bullied. During the altercation, 
our Arab cook was dreadfully alarmed, and reminding us 
that Abu Ghush was a powerful sheikh, implored us in 
his broken English not to provoke him. 

Great exception was taken by this sheikh to 'Awad, 
our Ta'amirah guide, who, he swore, should not pass 
through his territory ; to which we replied that his ser- 
vices were necessary to us, and that we would protect 
37 2 c 


him. 'Awad said to him, in a deprecating tone, that he 
was only a poor fellah. We may judge of his fright and 
feigned humility, from the supreme contempt in which it 
is known that the predatory and pastoral Arabs hold the 

The sheikh was of a light complexion, with Euro- 
pean features, and wearing a red moustache — very much 
resembling a gaunt, rough Jew. He is brother to the 
celebrated Abu Ghush, so long the terror of this dis- 
trict, who, for his exactions, robberies, and murders, was 
sent not long since to Constantinople, and is now, it is 
said, an exile on the banks of the Euxine. 

When abreast of the village, in which there are the 
ruins of a Christian church, an old Arab called out, " 
ye Muslims, come forth and see the Christians searching 
for treasures concealed by their forefathers in this coun- 
try." Great curiosity was exhibited by the people with 
respect to our operations. All desired to look through 
the telescope, and even little children were held up for a 

Leaving the village on the left, the road led over a high 
ridge ; the vegetation extremely luxuriant, and the hill- 
sides terraced, with many vines and fig-trees, and groves 
of the olive on each side. The olive is only picturesque 
in clusters. Individually it is an ungainly tree. With 
the appearance of greater strength than the oak, its 
branches are less graceful, and its leaves are smaller and 
less vivid in colour. The old trunks, gnarled and twisted, 
present to the eye vast bodies with disproportioned limbs. 
Those which are partially decayed are protected by stones 
piled up in the hollows. 

From the summit of the ridge, through the mist which 
curtained it in the distance, we beheld the blue, the glo- 
rious Mediterranean. Not the soldiers of Xenophon 
cheered more heartily than we did when we beheld its 


broad expanse stretching towards the west, where lay our 
country and our homes. 

Crossing over a rugged, rocky country, we descended 
by a precipitous road, a slope covered with bushes and 
shrubbery, to a dense olive grove near the village of 
Sarus, where we camped for the night. 

The whole face of the country since leaving Jerusalem 
bears evidence of a high state of cultivation, and after the 
calcined cliffs of the Dead Sea and the utter barrenness 
of the desert of Judea, our senses are soothed by the soft 
and refreshing green of these terraced hills. 

In the middle of the day the weather was oppressively 
warm, and being much fatigued we retired early 

"To sleep — to dream, 
But in that sleep" — what bugs may come. 

Thursday, May 25. Weather cloudy, with a fine west- 
erly breeze. Descended the dreadful road which leads 
down Wady Ali, and through Bab Wady Ali (Gate of 
the Ravine of Ali), issued out upon the vale of Sharon, 
covered with immense fields of ripened grain ; the thick, 
clustering stems bending to the breeze, and their golden 
surfaces chequered with the shadows of passing clouds. 
Behind us were the rugged mountains; before us the 
lovely plain, dotted with villages, and covered with a 
whole population gathering the harvest ; and beyond, in 
the distance, the pellucid and far-stretching sea, over 
which lay our homeward route. In the ravine we saw 
in great profusion the corn poppy, its bright scarlet flowers 
presenting a gorgeous appearance. The acacia was also 

Camped under some tamarisk trees, near the village of 
Dier Ayoub, and received a visit from its sheikh. 10 
P. M., temperature of the air 78°. 

Friday, May 26. A pleasant morning; wind light, with 

436 GAZA. 

passing clouds ; a dense fog to seaward. The night passed 
with less annoyance than usual from fleas and other 
insects. Long before sunrise, the industrious fellahin 
were at work in the fields. The scene was pastoral and 
picturesque. The herdsmen, with their flocks of black 
goats on the hill-sides, the cattle grazing below them ; the 
reapers among the grain, the women gleaning after them ; 
while the armed Nubian guard sat under the shadow 
of a tree, his ample costume setting off his jet-black 
skin. A light wind played in the loose folds of his 
white aba, and thence sweeping on, bowed down the 
heads of the unreaped barley, presenting an appearance 
like the surface of a still lake, when clouds are drifting 
over it. 

We soon passed the Bir Dier Ayoub, the road, which 
was yet but a bridle-path, becoming better, and the moun- 
tains receding on each side, and giving at once an almost 
uninterrupted view of the plain. On the summit of a 
lofty hill before us, was the village of Latrun (Thief), 
named by tradition as the birth-place of the repentant 
thief upon the cross. Instead of following the road over 
the hill and through the village, we skirted its southern 
base, and passing the well, struck first into the Gaza road, 
and then into the usual road to Ramleh. 

Gaza, the famous town of the Philistines, in a direct 
line, was about thirty miles distant. Once the residence 
of a king, it is now a paltry village. It was taken by 
Alexander the Great, after a siege of two months ; and 
Quintus Curtius relates that, in imitation of Achilles, the 
ungenerous conqueror, who was twice wounded during the 
siege, dragged twice round the walls, at his chariot-wheels, 
the body of the general who had gallantly defended it. 

Pursuing the road to Ramleh, we crossed Merj ibn 
'Amir, an extensive plain under high cultivation. Ascend- 
ing a slight eminence, we passed the village of Kubab. 


The scene must have been similar to those of the days of 
Scripture. Below the village, and on the sides of the 
hill, the fields, in some spots, were yellow with the ripened 
grain ; in others, large quantities, newly reaped, were 
spread upon the threshing-floors, and the cattle, yoked in 
couples, were treading it out; the whole population of 
the village was at work, reaping, gleaning, tossing in the 
sheaves, or raking aside the chaff. We encamped in the 
field by the road-side. 

Saturday, May 27. A fine breeze from the westward 
gave us a delicious temperature. Early in the morning, 
two jackals came nearly up to the camp, and narrowly 
escaped paying, with their lives, for their temerity. 
They were frequently around us at night, and their cries 
were the accompaniments of our slumbers ; but they had 
not, before, ventured so near in open day. Towards mid- 
day, the wind lulled, and the heat was oppresssive. 

The road continued over the almost level plain. Hun- 
dreds of villagers, men, women and children, with camels, 
mules, and donkeys, were employed getting in the harvest. 
The donkey is loaded in a singular manner : an immense 
heap of grain, in the straw, is trussed together, in the 
form of a parallelogram, and laid on one of its narrow 
sides ; a donkey is made to stand close against it ; and 
two of the fellahin, standing on the opposite side, place 
each a foot against the animal, and haul over on the 
bundle by a rope. When it is half over, they secure it ; 
and there is nothing of the donkey to be seen but its 
little feet, far beneath the cumbrous load, in bulk six 
times larger than himself. The small, square houses of 
the village, like those of all we have seen, Aba Ghush's 
excepted, are of uncut stones, cemented and plastered 
with mud, and with flat, mud roofs. The mud floors 
are usually several feet below the surface of the ground ; 
and the only aperture in the walls is the low and narrow 

438 RAMLEH. 

doorway. Through the last, a stream of smoke is ever 
issuing, tainted with the foetid odour of the fuel, the sun- 
dried excrement of the camel ; which is so offensive that 
the deaf and the blind would detect, with their nostrils, 
the impregnated atmosphere of a village. The habits of 
the people are as filthy as their dwellings are uncom- 
fortable ; and it is not surprising that, with all their sim- 
plicity of life, there are so few instances of longevity. 

The town of Ramleh, seated in the plain, with its 
tower, its minarets, its ruins, and its palm-trees, looked 
more like an oriental city, than any we had seen in 
Palestine. In this plain, according to tradition, the Vir- 
gin, the infant Saviour, and St. Joseph, passed a night, in 
their flight to Egypt. 

Arriving at Ramleh, we experienced great difficulty in 
getting round it, owing to the number of high and im- 
penetrable cactus-hedges. At length our vice-consul came 
out in state, and guided us round to the north side, where 
we struck into the Jaffa road. This is the only place in 
the interior of Palestine where the American flag is per- 
mitted to fly. There were fine olive-groves, and many 
cypresses, around the town ; and beyond, a lovely plain, 
bounded by a range of mountains on one hand, and the 
Mediterranean on the other. 

Ramleh is supposed to have been the Rama-Ephraim 
of the Old Testament, where Samuel judged the people, 
and where the elders assembled to demand a king. It 
has now a large convent, rebuilt, it is said, by Philip the 
Good, Duke of Burgundy. 

Passing along the plain of Beth Dagon, we camped, for 
Sunday, a little off the road, on a slope in the edge of an 
orchard of old olive-trees, near the village, and a few 
miles distant from Lyd, the Lydda of the New Testament, 
and the Diospolis of the Romans, where St. Peter miracu- 
lously cured the man afflicted with the palsy. 


The uncultivated parts of the plain were beautified by 
the violet purple flowers of the plumbago, which grows 
more luxuriantly here than in southern Europe, the heads 
of the flowers being much longer, and the colours more 

Monday, May 29. Pleasant weather; — commenced 
operations early. At the village of Yazur, turned to the 
left and followed the Frank road, the one on which Napo- 
leon marched to and from Gaza. There were a number of 
people in the fields, but not many travellers on the road. 
Some wandering dervishes, bearing banners, and a few 
returning Christian pilgrims, passed us in the course of 
the morning. About three miles from the town, was a very 
handsome fountain, with a mosque beside it. Pursuing 
thence nearly a due-west course, we came out on the sand- 
hills, and planted the level on the margin of the Mediter- 
ranean, about one and a half miles south of Jaffa. The 
task was at length accomplished. We had carried a line 
of levels, with the spirit-level, from the chasm of the 
Dead Sea, through the Desert of Judea, over precipices 
and mountain-ridges, and down and across yawning ra- 
vines, and for much of the time beneath a scorching sun. 
It had been considered by many as impracticable. It has, 
however, been accomplished; and with as much accuracy 
as, I believe, it can be done. The instrument was a 
capital one of Troughton's, imported by Blunt. It was 
of the most recent construction, with staves to be read 
off by the observer. The adjustments of the instruments 
were frequently examined, and we were careful to make 
the observations as nearly mid-way as possible. The 
whole credit of this is due to Lieutenant Dale, to whom, 
in full confidence of his zeal and capacity, I assigned the 
task of levelling. The result is confirmatory of the skill 
and extraordinary accuracy of the triangulation of Lieu- 
tenant Symonds, R. N. 

440 JAFFA. 

We found the difference of level, in other words, the 
depression of the surface of the Dead Sea, below that of 
the Mediterranean, to be a little over 1300 feet. The 
height of Jerusalem above the former sea, is very nearly 
three times that of this difference of level, while, at the 
same time, it is almost the exact multiple of the depth 
of that sea, of the height of its banks, and of the depres- 
sion of its surface. 

In the hollow of the hills near Jaffa, is a circular plain, 
where Ibrahim Pasha contemplated making a harbour, to 
be connected with the Mediterranean by a canal. At the 
request of our Vice-Consul, who had come to meet us 
early in the day, we examined it carefully, and felt satis- 
fied that the work could be done at little cost, compared to 
the immense benefit that would be derived from it. The 
duties of the customs, 12 per cent., amount to 10,000 
pounds sterling per annum ; and twice that sum, or two 
years' duties appropriated to the purpose, would accom- 
plish it. Vessels not exceeding 160 tons can anchor near 
the town in summer ; but in winter, they must keep in 
the offing. 

Our work accomplished, we repaired to the country- 
house of Mr. Murad, our worthy consular representative, 
who had kindly placed it at our disposal. 

The town of Jaffa is situated on a hill-side ; the de- 
clivity towards the sea, and sweeping round it, inland, 
from north to south, is a plain of luxuriant vegetation, 
consisting of gardens and orange and mulberry groves, 
separated by hedges of cactus, fifteen feet high, then in full 
blossom, bearing a beautiful straw-coloured, cup-shaped, 
wax-looking flower. The roads, numerous but narrow, 
and shaded by the magnificent sycamore fig, wind be- 
tween these hedges, the tenderest leaves of which are 
cropped by the passing camels, though, from being fretted 
with thorns, they are avoided by every other animal. 


The garden in which we were quartered, was a delight- 
ful spot to recruit in, after our fatigue. A great many 
swallows were flying in and out, and twittering over our 
heads, in the open alcove we selected for our bed-chamber. 
We had been so long accustomed to camping in the open 
air, that we could not reconcile ourselves to sleeping in a 
room ; moreover, we felt more secure from insects, away 
from apartments that had recently been inhabited 

We never wearied of the luxuriant and refreshing green 
of the gardens around and before us. The one we occupied, 
although not the largest in the vicinity, had in it 2500 
orange and 1500 lemon, besides a number of apricot, and 
some apple and pomegranate trees. The first were nearly 
all laden with fruit, then near maturity, but some were 
in blossom, as were also all the pomegranate trees, and 
the beautiful white and crimson flowers were richly inter- 
mingled; while those of the orange, the bridal flower, 
fairly burthened the air with their fragrance. Attached 
to the garden is a well, a Persian wheel, and a reservoir. 
The wheel is worked day and night by mules ; the water 
is collected in the reservoir, and thence conducted by 
small canals through the garden. There are two canals, 
built of cemented stone, with apertures in them at regular 
distances. They were this evening occupied two hours 
in irrigating one half of the garden, which is done on 
alternate days. A trench is dug in the loose soil from 
one of the canals to a tree, and the earth is raked aside 
from the roots and the stem, leaving a circular basin, ac- 
cording to the size of the tree ; the water is let in, the 
basin filled, and in the mean time another trench and 
basin are prepared; the first is blocked up, the water 
diverted to the second, and in this manner every tree is 
irrigated once in two days. There is great loss of water 
by the process, and we endeavoured to persuade our con- 
sul to erect a windmill, which, requiring no food and 


much less attendance than mules, would, in this region 
of periodical winds, be far more economical than the pre- 
sent mode. But Jaffa is an antediluvian place, and I 
suppose that the Persian water-wheel, like the other cus- 
toms of their ancestors, will be adhered to by this people. 
In the vineyard attached to the garden, within pistol-shot 
of the alcove we occupied, is the reputed tomb of Tabitha, 
who was restored by St. Peter. It is a cave excavated 
in a scaly, friable limestone, and is about twelve feet 
deep, with a flight of steps leading down to it. The floor 
is level. The interior is about eighteen feet long, and it 
has nine crypts, three fronting the entrance, and three 
on each side, each one measuring eight feet in length, 
two feet in width, and three feet in height; the side 
crypts about eight feet apart. 

We remained in the quarters so hospitably assigned 
to us until the 6th of June; and found full occupa- 
tion in bringing up our work, particularly the astrono- 
mical and barometrical observations, and the measure- 
ments of the level, and rebuilding our boats by putting 
their sections together. The physical repose was truly 

On the main road between this and the town there is 
an arabesque fountain, with a reservoir. Besides the fruit 
and mulberry trees, and wheat, barley, sesame, dhoura, and 
lentils,* we noticed within the gardens, squashes, cucum- 
bers, melons, peas, artichokes, egg-plants, okra, and some 
Irish potatoes, the last recently introduced. A little off 
the road, there was a very large tamarind and some date 
trees. In the near vicinity of the town there were wary 
beggars, seated beneath trees by the road-side, reciting 
passages from the Koran to excite the sympathy of tra- 
vellers. We came out from the labyrinthine road upon 

* Of this pea, was made the red pottage for which Esau sold his birth- 


a sandy knoll, just without the town, and had the waves 
of the Mediterranean at our feet, the brawling sound of 
which we had heard before we saw them. Apart from 
the associations of the sight, we were exhilarated by the 
breeze which its sister element rendered so cool and 
refreshing. We had thence a glorious view of the sea 
before, and the plain and the cloud-capped mountains 
behind us. 

To the north of the town, a short distance from the 
gate, for Jaffa has but one, and immediately upon the sea 
shore, is a village inhabited by Copts. These people fol- 
lowed Ibrahim Pasha from Egypt, but since the restora- 
tion of the country to Ottoman sway they have been 
driven from the town, and live in their poor mud village 
with the sea before and a graveyard behind them. Possess- 
ing no means of transportation over the first, along which 
they must often wistfully gaze towards their native coun- 
try, the last remains as their only refuge from hunger, 
oppression, and unrewarded toil. Their complexions are 
dark, but the dress of the men differs in no respect from 
that of Arabs of the lowest class. The women wear a 
triangular piece of thin dark cloth suspended from the 
forehead, sometimes fringed with coins, and concealing 
the nose, mouth, and chin. 

In another graveyard to the left was an Egyptian 
woman at her devotions. Eastern women are rarely seen 
to pray by travellers. Like the majority of their sex all 
over the world, they seem to shrink from public exhibi- 
tion. Once before, in a Turkish burial-ground just with- 
out St. Stephen's gate, Jerusalem, I saw some black slaves 
making their prostrations before a tomb, but could not 
tell whether they were worshipping God, or paying hom- 
age to the shade of their master. The real belief of 
Muhammedans with regard to the future prospects of 
women, I have never been able to ascertain. The vulgar 


idea that they are denied the possession of souls by the 
Koran, is, however, an incorrect one. Muhammed named 
four as worthy of Paradise. But it is impossible, for a 
Christian at least, to obtain satisfactory information from 
a native on this subject. They never speak of their 
women to strangers, and consider any allusion to them as 
insulting. 'Awad, our guide, was the only one who would 
answer our questions in this matter, and he did it with 
perceptible reluctance. Indeed, all the Arabs with whom 
we have been associated, and they were many and of 
various tribes, were very reserved about their domestic 
affairs, and more evasive even than our eastern brethren 
in their replies to questions of a personal nature. I have 
never known them to give a direct answer to a question 
pertaining to their families or themselves. When asked 
how he is, an Arab replies, u Thanks be to God !" When 
the question is repeated, he says, " God is great !" and if 
asked the third time, his reply is, " God is bountiful !" 

On the sands of the sea, a little beyond the Coptic vil- 
lage, the Pasha of Jerusalem, with a number of his officers 
and attendants, were jousting and throwing the djerid. 
They were mounted on spirited horses, drawn up in two 
lines, facing each other, about 150 yards apart. A single 
horseman would leave his ranks, cross the intervening 
space, and ride leisurely along in front of the opposite 
line, when, selecting his opponent, he quickly threw his 
djerid, or short, blunted, wooden spear, directly at him. 
The latter, generally dodging the weapon, immediately 
started in hot pursuit of his antagonist, who, now un- 
armed, spurred his horse towards his friends, and, to 
avoid the threatened blow, threw himself nearly from the 
steed, hanging by one leg, exactly in the manner of our 
Blackfoot Indians, and the inhabitants of the Pampas of 
South America. If the assailed were struck with the 
first cast, one of his party pursued the assailant ; and if 


successful in striking him, it became his turn to flee from 
an adversary. It is a manly and a beautiful game, and 
excited us as we looked upon it. How much more so 
must it have been to those who were engaged in it ! The 
noble black charger of the Pasha seemed to devour the 
wind, and not one escaped the unerring aim of his rider. 
There was no sycophancy, however ; for, less successful 
in retreat than pursuit, the Pasha was repeatedly struck 
before he regained his place. 

Immediately in front of the gate were a number of 
frui^sellers, some bazaars, and a new khan under con- 
struction, with a throng of people moving rapidly to and 
fro, indicating more activity of trade than we had seen 
since leaving Beirut. Just before entering, we stopped to 
let a funeral procession pass. It was quite a long one, 
and consisted wholly of females. They were wailing in 
the same monotonous tone as those we saw in a similar 
procession at Jerusalem. It is the custom for the rela- 
tives and friends, for three consecutive days, to repair in 
procession to, and weep over, the grave of the deceased. 

Just within the gate, on the right, is a very handsome 
fountain, with elaborate carved-work about it. Passing 
through lines of bazaars, and by a mosque with a large 
court, and handsome fountain on the right, and thence 
threading narrow, unpaved streets, cumbered with rub- 
bish, which seemed to have no precise direction, and to 
lead to no particular place, and twice descending steps 
where Putnam might have hesitated, with a foe behind 
him, but down which our horses walked as carefully as 
we could have done ourselves, we at length reached the 
residence of our consul, immediately overlooking the 
harbour. There were some thirty or forty small polacre 
vessels in the port, which is protected by a reef of rocks 
to the westward. This reef is generally supposed to be 
the remains of a breakwater, built by the Emperor 


Adrian ; but to me the reef presented a natural aspect. 
I could detect no vestiges of an ancient mole, and have 
not been able to find any historical account of an artificial 
harbour being formed here. On the contrary, Josephus 
speaks of the dangers of the anchorage, caused by a 
number of rocks off the town. 

Our worthy consular representative is a Syrian by birth 
and an Armenian in faith. He was dressed in the 
oriental style, and received us hospitably and kindly. 
For upwards of twenty years he has been in the service 
of our government ; in the first place as an assistant, and 
subsequently as the successor of his father. 

Jaffa is, perhaps, the oldest city in the world; and 
Pliny calls it an antediluvian one. Here, in mythology, 
Andromache was chained to a rock, and exposed to the 
embraces of a sea-monster. 

History fixes upon this as the landing-place of the cru- 
saders, subsequently fortified by St. Louis ; within its 
Armenian convent Napoleon touched the sick infected 
with the plague, and without its walls massacred his pri- 
soners in cold blood; and here Ibrahim Pasha sought 
refuge from the Arab tribes, whom he had driven to des- 
peration. According to tradition, here Noah built the 
ark, and from its port Jonas embarked ; on these shores 
were landed the cedars of Lebanon, brought for the build- 
ing of the temple ; and in it was the house of Simon the 
tanner, with whom the first of the apostles dwelt. We 
visited the site of the last, which is upon the sea-side, 
exactly accordant with the description. There is a sar- 
cophagus in the yard, used as a reservoir to the fountain. 
It is said to have belonged to the family of Simon. 
Quien sabe ? Who knows ? Who can believe ? and who 
can contradict it ? The population of Jaffa is now about 
13,000, viz: Turks, 8000; Greeks, 2000; Armenians, 
2000 ; Maronites, 700 ; and Jews, about 300. 


The consul's dinner was an extremely plentiful one, 
consisting of a great variety of dishes, many of them 
unknown to us, prepared in the Eastern style. His wife, 
in compliment to us, for the first time in her life, sat 
down to a table with strangers. She had a sweet counte- 
nance, and her profile was a beautiful one. She was 
timid, yet dignified in her manners ; the wave of her 
hand was particularly graceful, and her voice, soft and 
gentle, — " an excellent thing in woman." She was 
dressed richly, according to the fashion of her country. 
Her head was ornamented with diamonds, in clusters of 
leaves and flowers ; and on her finger was a magnificent 
ruby, encircled with brilliants. When she turned to 
address those who were waiting behind her, we were par- 
ticularly struck with the exquisite contour and flexure 
of her head and throat. A master-artist would have 
painted her so, and called her the heroine of some historic 
scene. From time to time, she helped us to morsels from 
her own plate ; a marked compliment, founded on a cus- 
tom which, under other circumstances, we should have 
thought "more honoured in the breach than the ob- 
servance ;" but her manner was so gentle and so winning, 
and her smile so irresistible, that, had it been physic 
instead of palatable food, we should have swallowed it 
without hesitation. For the first time within many 
months, we felt the soothing and refining influence of the 
society of the other sex. 

Members of the family acted as waiters, it being the 
custom when it is intended to pay the highest honour to 
a guest. Conscious of not deserving it in that sense, we 
received it as a tribute to the exalted character of our 
country, and as an evidence of the patriotism of our 
worthy host; — and a more patriotic, unassuming, and 
truly hospitable representative of that country I have 
never seen. He stowed our boats in his warehouse, and 


placed his country-house at our disposal. His residence 
in town was our familiar resort, and we ever found a 
heartfelt welcome at his table. He spared no trouble; 
hesitated at no expense ; and, at the settlement of the 
accounts, refused all compensation whatever. Mr. Ste- 
phens says that he is the only man he has ever known to 
declare himself happy. I can safely add that he is the 
only one whom I thought truly so. Many there are who 
ought to be, but I have never before met with one who 
rightly appreciated the blessings he enjoyed. 

While at dinner, we heard sung in the street the same 
song of the wild Ta'amirah, to which we had so often 
listened on the shores of the Dead Sea. Heretofore inva- 
riably discordant, it now sounded almost melodious. 

In the afternoon there was a marriage-procession ; the 
bride being escorted to her future home by her husband 
and his friends. First came the groom, with a number 
of his male friends, walking two abreast ; then a gorgeous 
silken canopy, beneath which walked the bride, her person 
entirely screened. On each side was a man with a drawn 
sword in his hand, suggesting to the mind thoughts about 
a lamb led to the sacrifice, or of a criminal conducted to 
execution. Behind the canopy, in the same order as the 
men who preceded it, were a number of females of various 
ages. There were also many attendants with musical 
instruments. The monotonous, twanging sound of the 
last, mingled with the shouts of the men ; the whining 
tones and occasional screams of the women; and the 
flourishes of the swords by those who bore them, pre- 
sented a singular spectacle; a most extraordinary vocal 
and instrumental concert, with a yet stranger accom- 

We learned from our Consul, that the Turks treat their 
wives very badly. In consequence of the power vested 
in the husband to divorce at will, there is no community 


of interest between man and wife. The latter, not know- 
ing at what moment the dreadful word may be pro- 
nounced, is ever laying by something for such a contin- 
gency, of which her mother is usually the depository. 
Hence, the husband, in self-defence, rarely provides gro- 
ceries or food in any quantity, of which the wife would 
certainly sell a portion, and retain the proceeds. In the 
vicinity of towns, therefore, and we have frequently 
observed it, Turks may be seen returning home with a 
little oil, and a small quantity of provisions, for the day's 

It is true, that if the wife be divorced for any other 
cause than infidelity, she can claim her dower, — that is, 
the sum paid for her by her husband, if it had been 
returned to him, which is rarely the case. But her 
youth, and with it, all her attractions, had probably 
passed away ; and, what is the most severe part of the 
infliction, the children, in such an event, remain subject 
to the father's control. The wife can also obtain divorce ; 
and in Constantinople there is a singular female court to 
which she may appeal, but its jurisdiction, like the edict 
with regard to slavery, is nominal, and the rights of 
woman and the slave are alike disregarded. 

All over the world, civilized and savage, women are 
treated as inferior beings. In what is esteemed refined 
society, we hold them in mental thraldom, while we 
exempt them from bodily labour, and, paying a sensual 
worship to their persons, treat them as pretty playthings. 

The law of inheritance, in the Turkish dominions, 
recognises no right whatever in the female. On the 
death of the father, if there be one son and one or more 
daughters, the son inherits all the property. If two or 

Lmore sons, it is portioned equally among them ; but, in 
either case, the daughters have no share. 
As illustrative of the seclusion of the female in Syria, 
38* 2d 


the Christian as well as the Muslim, a circumstance was 
related to us by our Consul's brother, which, from a less 
authentic source, we should have deemed incredible. A 
widower, on marrying a second time, enjoined it upon his 
son, then about half-grown, never to enter the apartment 
occupied by his step-mother without knocking, in order 
that she might have time to conceal her face. This form 
was scrupulously observed by the son, who, after the 
lapse of some years, also married. In turn, he requested 
his father to adopt the same rule which had been applied 
to him ; and we were assured that they lived and died in 
the same house, without seeing the faces of each other's 
wives. I give this for what it is worth. 

On the 5th of June we dined with Dr. Kay at, H. B. M. 
Consul. The dishes were excellent and most abundant ; 
— among them a lamb, roasted whole — and the attend- 
ance was a miracle for Syrian servants. The dress of the 
hostess, a perfect lady in her manners and appearance, 
was a singular dovetailing of the oriental with the Euro- 
pean costume. Her hair, flowing beneath her head-dress 
of cerulean silk, ornamented with crimson and surmounted 
by a gold-embroidered crown, was internetted with minute 
spiculee of gold about the size of a spangle, and fell like 
the fabulous tiara of a mermaid upon her shoulders. Her 
neck, at least so much of it as could be seen, for the lady 
was not slightly moulded, was encircled with a string of 
golden ornaments in the forms of claws of animals, alto- 
gether reminding one of the necklace of a Tuscarora belle. 
Her fingers sparkled with rings of emerald, ruby and dia- 
mond, and an amethystine silk dress, made in the Euro- 
pean style, with neat slippers upon the feet, completed 
her costume. She presided with quiet dignity and becom- 
ing grace, and the conversation of the husband gave an 
additional zest to the repast he had hospitably prepared 
for us. 


Dr. K. has just claims to be considered a benefactor to 
this section of country. He has encouraged the culture 
of the vine ; has introduced that of the mulberry and of 
the Irish potatoe ; and by word and example is endea- 
vouring to prevail on the people in the adjacent plain to 
cultivate the sweet potatoe, which in this warm climate 
and light friable soil will doubtless succeed admirably. 
This section, like all Syria, has few nutritious and succu- 
lent vegetables. The introduction of the potatoe would 
be a blessing, if only to supersede the washy and un- 
wholesome cucumber, which is now the vegetable of the 
country. In the court-yard we observed an English 
plough of an improved construction, imported by the con- 
sul. This gentleman related two anecdotes, one illustra- 
tive of the superstition of the lower order, the other, of 
the increasing liberality of spirit among the Muslim 

Last winter a boat was upset in the harbour, and the in- 
sensible body of one of the crew was thrown by the waves 
upon the beach. Dr. K. had it immediately carried to his 
house, where he took instant measures for its resuscita- 
tion. In the mean time, a report was spread abroad that 
a Giaour was making incantations over the body of one 
of the faithful. A crowd was very soon collected before 
the house, and became clamorous for the body that they 
might inter it ; for, as I have before stated, it is an article 
of Muslim belief that the soul of a person, not slain in 
battle, cannot enter the gardens of Paradise until the 
body is interred. Dr. K., from his official position, suc- 
ceeded in keeping the doors closed, until, after several 
hours' persevering efforts, he succeeded, and indignation 
gave way to astonishment among the people, who declared 
that he had restored the dead to life. 

A short time after the above occurrence, two Mullahs 
called upon him, and seeing an Arabic translation of the 


Bible upon his table, expressed a desire to read it, where- 
upon he presented each of them with a copy. The 
Imaum (head of the hierarchy in Jaffa) was present, but 
said nothing. A few days after, however, he came alone, 
and asked why a copy had not been given to him. Of 
course, he was presented with one. 

Our host also told us of a ruin, supposed to be ante- 
diluvian, and we went to see it. It is covered by a Sara- 
cenic arch, some thirty or forty feet from the sea. We 
could not tell whether it had been a pier or an abutment 
of a bridge, but the fragmentary ruin bore evident traces 
of the action of water, and we found some small, dead sea- 
shells in its crevices. It was deliciously cool as we 
returned after nightfall, by the faint light of the young 
moon, with the old moon in her arms. Every evening, 
after sunset, the zodaical lights were beautiful. Can 
they, as has been suggested, be the unabsorbed rays of 
the sun? 

Monday, June 5. Another night has passed, which 
would have been delightful, were it not for the harass- 
ing and incessant annoyance of fleas. The boats being 
complete, I now chartered a small Arab brig to con- 
vey them, our stores, and a majority of the party, to St. 
Jean d'Acre. A short distance within the gate, we recog- 
nized and joyfully accosted Sherif Musaid, one of our 
Bedawin allies. To our mortification his return greeting 
was anything but a cordial one, and we parted from hi] 
abruptly, our bosoms chilled with such an unexpecte( 
proof of the instability of human friendship. We had all 
become much attached to him during our association, an( 
from his deportment towards us had believed the feeling 
to be reciprocal. Many, therefore, were the fruitless sur- 
mises as to the cause of his change of manner. 

After embarking the boats, and making all necessary 
arrangements for to-morrow's start, among them, pro- 


curing quantities of every variety of seed, we returned to 
our quarters, to spend the last night in the spacious but 
infested villa of our most worthy consul. Great was our 
surprise, and unequalled our delight, when, shortly after, 
the younger Sherif came in and explained the cause of his 
reserved demeanour in the morning. A valuable slave 
had absconded from him at Acre, taking with him his 
master's best horse and a highly prized rifle. Following 
in swift pursuit, Musaid had tracked him to Jaffa, and 
was, incognito, making some necessary inquiries, when 
we suddenly came upon him. He ascertained that the 
slave had continued his flight to Egypt, and purposed 
following in pursuit. 

In reply to our inquiries, Sherif humanely said that if 
he came within gun-shot of the fugitive, he would not 
shoot him, even to secure his horse and his gun. He 
expressed his regret that he had not parted with the 
slave some time before, when he seemed dissatisfied. By 
an imperial edict (which is, however, disregarded with 
respect to Nubians), a slave cannot remain in servitude 
more than seven years ; and, by a custom, the most impe- 
rative of all laws, a slave, if dissatisfied, can claim to be 
sold; and if the demand be thrice ineffectually made, 
before witnesses, he becomes, ipso facto, free. Hence, the 
treatment of slaves is mild and conciliatory. 

I do not purpose entering into a description of Jaffa, 
or to give the statistical facts which were collected there. 
The first has been repeatedly done before ; the last 
will, with more propriety, accompany the official report. 
Moreover, I feel that my notes are diminishing in inte- 
rest as we recede from those mysterious shores, where we 
alone were almost the only voyagers. We were now, and 
had, since our departure from Jerusalem, been travelling 
a route repeatedly and graphically described by others. 
Any attempt, on my part, to compete with some of them, 


would be like one endeavouring to rival the lightning of 
heaven with the artificial fireworks of earth. In con- 
sideration, therefore, alike of the patience of the reader 
and my own reputation, I will henceforth be as brief as 



Tuesday, June 6. A pleasant, calm morning, with a 
dense fog to seaward. Set the cook to work at 4 A. M. 
The sun rose at 4.40. 

When all hands were called, I was amused with the 
simplicity of an Arab's toilet. He had been sleeping 
beneath a tree in the court. When awakened, he sprang 
immediately to his feet, tightened the leathern belt 
around his aba, and throwing back the flaps of his koo- 
feeyah, he was attired for the day. Except the elder 
Sherif, we never saw the Arabs wash anything but their 
feet, and they regarded our use of the tooth-brush as an 

At 7 A. M., the land-party, under command of Mr. Dale, 
started for St. Jean d'Acre. In the evening, I embarked 
with the remainder in the Arab brig. These vessels have 
no names, each one being designated only by that of the 
reis or captain. According to the custom of the country, 
a vessel becomes the property of the chartering party 
for the time being. We therefore hoisted our colours, 
and christened the brig after a valued friend of one of 
us. The name, beautiful in itself, was the more accepta- 


ble, that, although rarely met with now, it is frequent in 
songs of the olden time, and a great favourite with sailors. 

The wind drawing too much ahead, we were, near sun- 
set, compelled to anchor again within the outer verge of 
the harbour. While thus detained, we received another 
proof of the kindness of our consul, in a present of provi- 
sions and fruit. 

The finest view of Jaffa is from the harbour. The 
houses are mostly one story, with flat roofs, and being 
built on an acclivity, the flat roofs of those on one street 
form terraces to the houses on the one above it ; hence, 
at sunset, when the inhabitants were assembled on the 
house-tops to enjoy the breeze, they presented an ani- 
mated and pleasing appearance. After night-fall, the 
scene was beautiful ; the town rising terrace above ter- 
race, with hundreds of living and moving lights ; in 
front, stretched the sea, with a line of foam where it 
broke against the reef, and a young, but bright, un- 
clouded moon above it. 

Sailed again at 8 P. M. ; the wind very light. When 
I awoke, at 2 A. M., the brig was gently moving, unre- 
strained by human guidance. The sheets were hauled 
aft ; the helm lashed alee, and the reis and his crew were 
fast asleep. The moon had gone down, and the stars 
shone lustrous through the humid atmosphere. 

Behind us, but a few miles distant, was Jaffa, dark and 
still as a city of the dead. To the left, was the broad 
expanse of sea, arched over by an unclouded sky. On 
the right, was a waving line of coast, defined by the un- 
crested waves, as they lazily tumbled and broke against 
it with a monotonous, but refreshing sound. Beyond, 
was a line of barren sand-hills, terminated by cliffs in the 
remote distance. To the careless eye and unreflecting 
mind, an unattractive and a dreary scene ! But, in truth, 
how teeming with association, and with food for thought I 


Over those barren sand-hills, were the sites of Gilgal and 
Antipatris ; and to the north, that seeming line of cliffs 
was Caesarea, built (or rebuilt) by Herod, and named 
after his imperial master. Thence, St. Paul departed on 
his way to Rome. Some centuries later, this very shore 
presented another and a less quiet scene, — when the 
battle raged upon its sands, and Christian and Infidel 
hosts rent the air with shouts of defiance. To the west, 
across the sea, lay our home, the resting-place of all our 
earthly ties; and to the east, beyond the line of hills 
which skirts the horizon, were the consecrated scenes in 
the life of Him, in whom should be centred all our future 

Early in the morning, the sea-breeze sprang up, and 
making a speedy passage, we anchored off St. Jean d'Acre, 
about an hour after the gates were closed, and had, conse- 
quently, to remain all night on board. 

The route of the land party was along the sea shore, 
with an occasional detour to the right. The beach was 
covered with a profusion of shells, of a yellow colour 
near the sea, but blanched white a short distance up, 
which, with a harsh, discordant sound, crushed and crum- 
bled beneath the horses' feet. 

Early in the day, they passed the ruins of Apollonia, 
and, a short distance beyond, the village El Haram, with 
a mosque and minaret. The cliff was 300 to 400 feet 
high, sand and crumbling sandstone, and the walls ran 
into the sea : there was also a bastion with loop-holes, 
like the one at Kerak. There were several feluccas here, 
lading with stone from the ruins, to be taken to Jaffa. 

After leaving Apollonia, the beach was a heavy sand, 
until, early in the afternoon, they came to a stream, El 
Faled, which cuts through a rock ; when, turning inland, 
they entered upon a rolling country, and crossing a hill, 
spurring off from the range, they followed a broad valley 



or plain, and camped for the night near the village of 
Miikhalid. The village Es Skarki, with ruins, was on a 
hill to the right. There was here a sycamore fig-tree, 
under which reclined three Armenians, officers of the 
customs, respectively, of Jaffa, Gaza, and Jerusalem. 
They were attired in shabby European costume. But 
the resemblance extended to a less commendable feature ; 
they drank freely of arrack, a vile, spirituous compound. 
At sunset, a Muslim was seen at his prayers and prostra- 
tions on the extreme end of the castle wall. His figure, 
cutting against the clear sky, had a singular effect, and 
reminded one of " prayer on the house-top." 

At sunset, the flocks of sheep and goats were driven in. 
It was a clear, glorious night, but with a heavy dew ; and 
it was necessary to keep vigilant watch, for the fellahin 
between Jaffa and Acre are noted for their thievish pro- 
pensities. The shepherd's pipe was heard from the vil- 
lage; there were many watch-dogs barking, and sheep 
bleating, and hundreds of goats sneezing throughout the 
night ; and there were many, many fleas. 

Early on the 7th they started, and passing a number 
of women, some cutting wood, and others carrying it in 
large bundles upon their heads, they recrossed the sand- 
hills, with scattering, scrubby bushes on them, and came 
again upon the sea-shore. The coast here was sand, with 
outlying flat sandstone. At 10 A. M., they crossed the 
Nahr Akhdar, and came to the ruins of Caesarea. 

These ruins present walls and bastions with a deep 
ditch around them. They are all of cut sandstone, which 
a number of feluccas were taking to Jaffa for the new 
khan. In like manner and for a like purpose, stones 
have doubtless been taken to Beirut, Tripoli, and other 
places. The citadel presents a striking scene of great 
masses of masonry overturned, and displaying rows of 
dark granite columns beneath, the foundation of which 


was laid in what is termed cob-house fashion. All the 
ruins were of massive sandstone. There were Saracenic 
arches and three very lofty pieces of masonry standing — 
abutments, perhaps, of a church, or a castle. The whole 
area within the walls is full of pits, where hewn stones 
have been dug from the earth accumulated over them in 
the lapse of ages. There was an Arab shepherd with 
several hundred goats within the enclosure. " The sea- 
coasts shall be dwellings, cottages for shepherds and folds 
for flocks." 

The walls were in good preservation. Along the bank 
are the remains of a line of ancient buildings, and near the 
termination, a temple fallen into the sea, its dark granite 
columns lying side by side in the water. How beautiful 
once ! how mournful now ! Parallel to the sea are 
Koman arches of an aqueduct, nearly buried in the fine 
white sand. This aqueduct evidently conveyed water 
from the Zerka (Blue Kiver), although where the party 
came upon it, it ran more inland among the sand-hills. 
The whole of this region is almost an entire desert. 

The river Zerka is a fine stream, with the remains of a 
stone bridge at its mouth, on the very shore of the sea. 
There is a mill a little distance up, and an ancient dam 
or bridge across of solid masonry. There were a number 
of camels, horses, and donkeys standing around with their 
loads of grain. This mill grinds for the neighbouring 
villages, and is represented to have been a mill-seat of 
ancient Caesarea. Throughout the day, there was a lofty 
spire visible in the distance, which they took for a mina- 
ret or a light-house. 

At 2 P. M., they reached Tantura, a populous and 
thriving town, with a harbour formed by three or four 
islands. There were several feluccas taking in grain, 
from huge piles of it on the beach ; and among the fella- 
hin there was a merchant from Beirut. 


Leaving Tantura, they passed some wells excavated in 
the rocks, so near the sea that the latter, when moder- 
ately agitated, breaks into them. Shortly after, they came 
to the ruins of Dora, situated on a promontory ; where were 
the remains of an ancient building, very much resembling 
a light-house — the one they had seen all the morning. 
The base of the rock was excavated for a fosse to the 
castle, and there was a row of granite pedestals of columns. 
How magnificent the colonnade upon this promontory 
must have been ! After some trouble in finding sweet 
water, they pitched the tent in a grove of date-palm-trees. 
There were a number of wells in the field, and many 
women passing to and fro with jars upon their heads. 

On the 8th the road led along the sand beach, passing 
by occasional coves and over ridges of rock. When near 
Castellum Perigrinorum, Charles Homer, seaman, was 
wounded by the accidental discharge of a gun. The load 
of twelve buck-shot entered the under part of the arm 
near the wrist, and came out on the upper side below the 
elbow, lacerating the arm dreadfully, and, as it afterwards 
proved, shattering one of the bones. The severed artery 
discharged black arterial blood in frightful jets, and the 
wounded man suffered excruciating agony. With great 
difficulty, Mr. Bedlow checked the bleeding, and the poor 
fellow was slowly conveyed to the ruined castle. Fortu- 
nately there were some feluccas in the harbour, and under 
charge of Mr. B. he was immediately embarked in one of 
them for Acre. The wind was fair and fresh, and in six 
hours they reached their destination. Homer was imme- 
diately taken to the consul's house, and a surgeon in the 
Turkish army, who had been educated in Ibrahim 
Pasha's medical school in Egypt, dressed the wound. I 
dreaded, however, the heat of the climate, and felt it my 
duty to procure for the unfortunate man the most com- 
fortable quarters and the very best surgical attendance. 


I therefore sent him, the same evening, to Beirut, under 
charge of Passed Midshipman Aulick, Mr. Bedlow, and 
three men. 

The carriage trucks, and all our effects sent back from 
Tiberias, were also embarked in the brig. On their arri- 
val, Homer was without delay placed under the care of 
the Sisters of Charity, and a French surgeon of eminence 
attended him daily. The only time that I have ever 
been addressed by an Arab female, was this day, when 
one inquired about the condition of the wounded sailor. 
Humanity, a lovely tenant, dwell where it may, has its 
peculiar and appropriate home in the female breast. 

The castle of the Pilgrims is a mountain of masonry, 
furnishing an inexhaustible quarry for exportation. A 
village of about thirty families is perched upon the sum- 
mit, and its inhabitants have spent their lives in excava- 
tions. A road, made by the excavators, runs over and 
around the hill. A beautiful arched window, or door- 
way was crammed with bundles of wheat. One apart- 
ment, with groined arches and carved-work, presented a 
most imposing appearance. It is in perfect preservation, 
dimly lighted from the doorway, the windows facing the 
sea; — it was used as a cow-yard! The guide said that 
the castle was built " for the king's daughter." North of 
the castle, was a magnificent fragment of a wall, upwards 
of one hundred feet high, built of large stones, crossing a 
stream which is probably the Wady Ajil, but called, by 
the guide, Nahr Diistray (Justeriyeh ?) . They then 
opened, from a sand-ridge, the beautiful valley of Jezrael, 
running down by Mount Carmel, towards the outlet of 
the Kishon. Sometime after, they passed Mount Carmel, 
with its convent, the temporary resting-place of so many 
travellers; and, riding through the walled village of Haifa, 
where there were many lazy Arabs lounging about the 
doors, they came out at the camping-ground of the 31st of 


March. There were the grave-yard, the ruined tomb, the 
carob-tree, and the shelving beach, with its line of foam. 

Winding along the beach, and again crossing the 
Kishon and the Belus, the last our second camping-place, 
they halted on the glacis of the outer parapet of the 
eastern wall, a little north of the main gate of the fortress 
of Acre. In front was the plain, with an aqueduct, Abd' 
Allah Pasha's garden, and cultivated fields beyond, to the 
verge of the mountains ; behind, and on each side, was 
the sea. 

On the morning of the 9th, we had a visit from Sherif 
and 'Akil, who came in state, and we accepted an invita- 
tion to breakfast with them. Going into the town, we 
saw a man in the fosse of the ramparts, digging for bullets 
expended in various sieges of the place. He had found a 
number of them, two feet below the surface. 

On repairing to the Sherif 's, a little after noon, we were 
ushered, through a paved court, into a large room, with a 
lofty, arched ceiling ; Persian mats were upon the floor ; 
a handsome divan at one end, and at the other a European 
bedstead, with chintz curtains, and costly weapons were hang- 
ing against the walls. Nubian slaves were in immediate 
attendance, with sherbet, pipes, and coffee ; shortly after 
which, followed the repast. It consisted of a great many 
dishes, of Arab cookery, and was served up in an im- 
mense circular brazen tray. Among other things, there 
was a lamb, roasted whole, which 'Akil tore apart and 
distributed with his hands. We had learned not to 
consider knives and forks as indispensable ; and, being 
hungry, made, tooth and nail, a hearty meal. In ten 
minutes, the exercises were over ; and, with a lavation 
and a pipe, the entertainment concluded. 

Saturday, June 10. After taking some observations to 
connect with preceding ones, we started, at 8.15 A. M., 
for Nazareth, via the Valley of the Winds, the first 


encampment of our previous march. The aspect of the 
country was far more parched and dry than when we first 
saw it ; the plain was embrowned by the sun, and the air 
filled with myriads of insects, the product of the already 
decaying vegetation. At 11.45, reached the former 
camping-place, and stopped to make renewed observations. 
To our deep regret, we here discovered the delicate 
boiling-water apparatus, for determining elevations, to be 
broken, notwithstanding all our care. The horses were 
exceedingly restive from the heat and the bites of insects, 
coming across the wide plain of Acre, and to that I attri- 
buted the unfortunate accident. We here gathered a few 
flowers, which, the offspring of a more mature season, were 
gaudy in their colouring, but less redolent of fragrance, 
than those which bloomed around us on our previous visit. 
From the heat of the climate, vegetation germinates, ma- 
tures, decays, and revivifies, with great rapidity. The 
poetical figure is an approximation to the truth : — - 
"The Syrian flower 
Buds, and blooms, and withers, in an hour." 

At 1.30 P. M., started again, and, diverging from the 
route we had before pursued, stopped at Sepphori to 
examine the ruins of a church with pointed arches, appa- 
rently of the time of the crusades. At 4 P. M., came in 
sight of Nazareth, seated at the head of Wady Hadj 
(Valley of the Pilgrims), which, through the Wady el 
Kafyeh (Ravine of the Leap), communicates with the 
great valley of Esdraelon. Leaving the Greek Church 
of the Annunciation on our left, we skirted the eastern 
slope of the mountain, and, descending through the out- 
skirts of the town, camped, where so many travellers had 
camped before, in an olive-grove, about eighty yards from 
the Fountain of the Virgin. There were a great many 
women and children around the fountain ; the children, 
sprightly, with intelligent features ; and the women, the 



most cleanly in their attire, and the most courteous in 
their manners, of any we had seen in Syria. 

Sunday, June 11. We visited the Franciscan Convent, 
and its church, containing the grotto of the x\nnunciation. 
We were also taken to the reputed workshop of St. Jo- 
seph ; to the place where our Saviour dined with his dis- 
ciples, and to the precipice whither he was led by the 

The feelings are inexpressible which overpower one in 
passing to and fro amid scenes which, for the greater por- 
tion of his mortal existence, were frequented by our 
Saviour. In Jerusalem, the theatre of his humiliations, 
his sufferings, and his death, the heart is oppressed with 
awe and anguish ; but in Nazareth, where he spent his 
infancy, his youth, and his early manhood, we yearn 
towards him unchilled by awe, and unstricken by horror. 

In its secluded position, with a narrow valley before it, 
and mountains in every other direction, we liked Naza- 
reth better even than Bethlehem, and thought it the 
prettiest place we had seen in Palestine. The streets 
were perfectly quiet ; there was an air of comfort about 
the houses, and the people were better dressed, and far 
more civil, than any we had encountered. 

Nazareth contains about 5000 inhabitants, four-fifths 
Christians, the remainder Muslims. It has twenty-two 
villages in its district, which is subordinate to the Pashalic 
of Acre. While here, we paid a visit to a Turkish tax- 
gatherer, who, from his books, furnished us with much 
statistical information with regard to the tenure and the 
cultivation of land, and the land-tax, the poll-tax, and the 
"kharaje," or blood-tax, paid by the Christians. This 
tax-gatherer was an Egyptian, with a dark complexion, 
and short, crisp, black hair ; his wife, a native of Aleppo, 
in the north of Syria, had a white skin, and chesnut 
ringlets; and their servant woman was a Maronite of 


Mount Lebanon, with high cheek-bones, a freckled face, 
and reddish-brown hair. 

Napoleon stopped at Nazareth after having rescued 
General Kleber in his desperate engagement with the 
Syrian army, in the plain of Esdraelon, about two hours 

We found here the heliotrope, the pink, the pheasant's 
eye, and the knotty hartswort. The roots and seeds of 
the latter are medicinal, having similar properties to 
those of the carrot. The Turks are said to eat the 
young shoots as a salad. 



Monday, June 12. Started for Mount Tabor, bearing 
about E. S. E., leaving Cana on the left. There were many 
oak-trees on the hill-sides and in the ravines, but no culti- 
vation and very few flowers, except the purple bloom of 
the thorn. Bearing a little to the south, we soon opened 
the extensive and beautiful plain of Esdraelon. Over 
the plain was the village of Nain, where the widow's son 
was restored to life. Skirting along the northern edge 
of the lovely plain, nearly hemmed in by lofty hills, and 
cultivated in patches, with here and there a village; 
passing the battle-field of the French, and the reputed 
spot where Deborah and Barak discomfited Sisera, we 
reached a village at the base, and ascended to the summit 


of Mount Tabor; the sloping sides, two-thirds up, thickly 
dotted with oak-trees, and beautified by many white and 
yellow flowers. Near the top, were remains of ancient 
walls and fortifications; and on the flattened summit 
were six or eight acres in wheat, being harvested by 
male and female fellahin, whose homes were in the village 
below. All around were ruins, many of cut stone, with- 
out mortar, the loftiest fragment being part of a pedestal 
with sculptured plinths. There were several cisterns 
and arched vaults on the southern side of the flattened 
summit. This is the reputed Mount of Transfiguration, 
and one of those vaults answers annually the purpose of 
a chapel. 

From the summit was a magnificent view of the plain 
of Esdraelon, stretching to the range of Carmel in the 
west, and to Mount Gilboa in the south, with its off-shoot, 
the plain of Jezrael, reaching east to the Jordan. To the 
north-west, was Nazareth, embosomed among the hills ; 
to the north-east, the Sea of Galilee, with Safed and the 
snowy peak of Ghibel es Sheikh (Great Mount Hermon) . 
To the south-east, in the plain, was the village of Endor ; 
to the south-west, was Little Mount Hermon, crowned 
with a ruined mosque, which glittered in the sunlight ; 
and there were two streams from the north, and one from 
the southward and westward, which, uniting under the 
south-east base of the mountain, flowed along the plain, 
and fell into the Jordan near Beisan. A chapter might 
be written upon the history and associations of Mount 
Tabor, and its circumjacent plain. 

Descending the mount, and pursuing a north-easterly 
course, we passed a large khan, where about 1000 per- 
sons had, that morning, been present at the usual 
weekly fair. Thence the road, in nearly a due east 
line, led over rocky ridges, and across barren ravines, 
for an hour, when we came upon several large encamp- 



ments of black tents, with much cultivation, and many 
cattle and sheep around them. In the fields were dhoura, 
wheat, (the last being harvested), and some patches of 
castor-bean, which is raised for lamp-oil. The unculti- 
vated parts of the rolling plain abounded with the khob 
(wild artichoke), bearing a large, round, beautiful purple 
flower, resembling the lilac in its hue, and partaking of 
the fragrance of the thyme. 

Soon after, we passed two ruined villages. Just below 
the last one, was a deserted garden, with apricot and fig 
trees. No one reclined in the grateful shade of the fruit- 
trees ; and the song of a mother, and the mimic shouts 
of children, which once echoed around them, were no 
longer heard. It is not difficult to surmise the fate of 
the family — the father killed — the mother and the chil- 
dren driven forth — helpless wanderers. A few months 
back, and this was probably the seat of domestic happi- 
ness ; but now the plaintive cooing of the dove by day, 
and the mournful whooping of the owl at night, are the 
only sounds which find an echo in that desolate spot. 

Coming to the summit overlooking the Sea of Galilee, 
and the Jordan, where it issued from it, we descended to 
the bank, and halted near our first camping-place on the 
river, beside the ruined bridge of Semakh. Bathed, for 
the last time, in the lower Jordan, and gathered some 
flowers and shells, memorials of the consecrated stream 
and its lovely banks. From the want of wood, we went 
nearly supperless to bed. 

Tuesday, June 13. We had been compelled, last night, 
to pitch our tents in a field of wheat newly cut. When 
about to start, this morning, I sent to some reapers in the 
adjoining field to pay the owner of the one we had occu- 
pied for the slight damage we had occasioned. He came 
slowly and with hesitation, and appeared perfectly 
astonished when he understood our object. The idea of 


remuneration for waste of another's property never 
occurring to this harassed and misgoverned people. 

Our course to-day was along the western shore of the 
lake. Passing the ruins of Tarrichaea and of Kades, we 
stopped to bathe in the hot bath of Emmaus ; — the water 
salt and sulphureous, its temperature as before, 143°. The 
shore of the lake was in many places fringed with the pink 
oleander, and we saw a beautiful violet coloured flower, 
as round and as large as a small apple, growing on a 
thorn-like bush. We met a Jewish silver-smith going 
from Tiberias to the Hauran, to supply the wives and 
daughters of the Arabs with trinkets ; thus combining 
thrift with the preservation of health, he will spend the 
sultry months of summer in the mountains. 

At 9.30, we passed the gate of Tiberias; a few persons 
on the crumbled walls. The ground, except a few irri- 
gated patches, was parched and dry, and there was much 
grain being trodden out by cattle and mules. 

When here in April, we purchased the only boat upon 
the lake, with the condition that another should be pro- 
cured by the 1st of June — an arrangement we were in- 
duced to make in the event of losing our boats or being 
unable to return with them. To our great regret, we 
now learned that the one being built on the sea-coast 
would not be delivered for two weeks, a delay prohibited 
by the advancing season and our enfeebled condition. 
Thus fell our hopes of thoroughly exploring this inland 
sea. It could not have been done when we were there 
before, without incurring great risk of failure in the main 
objects of the expedition. 

We soon after reached the fountain Bareideh, with 
ruins of baths. The clear thermal stream gushes from 
the ground and flows into a reservoir, and thence, through 
another, out upon the shore and into the sea. There 
were many oleanders and purple flowers growing around, 


forming a lovely grove, and there were some gardens and 
cucumber beds behind and beside it. Resting a short 
while near Mejdel (Magdala), our road ran parallel with 
the sea-shore, with the luxuriant but uncultivated plain 
of Chinnereth on our left, and the holy city of Safed and 
Mount Hermon towering before us. Upon this plain it is 
supposed that Chorazin and other towns mentioned in 
the New Testament were situated. 

A little south of the ruins of Khan Minyeh we came to 
'Ain et Tin (Fountain of the Fig). From the base of a 
high cliff at the north-west angle of the sea, the limpid 
stream gushes out beneath a rock, with two large fig-trees 
above it, — whence its name. The water is sweet and 
cooler than that of the lake. For about twenty paces it 
flows a broad but shallow stream, which separates into 
two branches, that enclose a verdant little island, almost 
exactly in the shape of a heart, and thence its united 
streams have worn a channel to the sea. Upon the cliff 
above, Dr. Robinson places the site of Capernaum, where 
our Saviour cured the centurion's servant. We examined 
the brow of the hill very minutely, but could discover no 
traces of ruins. It is said that fragments of pottery have 
been found there, but we saw none. We were repaid, 
however, by the splendid view of the sea and its shores. 

Ascending from 'Ain et Tin, turning to the east, and 
leaving the khan and the usual route on our left, the 
road led along the face of the cliff, being cut through the 
rock, about four feet wide, with high perpendicular sides. 

We soon after passed Ain et Tobighah, a brackish 
stream, with a flour-mill, ruins of other mills, canals and 
wells, and thence along a slope, barren of verdure except 
a few isolated, thorny shrubs, the surface covered with 
boulders of ferruginous sandstone. We next came to 
Tannur Eiyub (Job's oven), a small building with a dome 
roof. In the door-way were several females, coy but 


curious, gazing at us. A short distance beyond was Tell 
Hum (Hill of Hum), the reputed site of " Frank's-town," 
built by the crusaders. The Arabs call it "Infidel's 
buildings." To my feeble understanding, this seemed the 
most probable site of Capernaum. It is about the centre 
of the northern shore line of the sea, and commands a 
more extensive view of the latter, and is more conspicu- 
ous from it, than the cliff over 'Ain et Tin, at the north- 
west angle. Next to Safed, the words " a city seated on 
a hill" seem most applicable to it. 

Early in the afternoon, we arrived at the debouchure 
of the upper Jordan. Flowing through an extensive 
and fertile plain, the river pours itself in a wide and 
shallow stream into the sea, nearly at its north-east 

Upon the western shore, near the mouth of the river, 
were many tents of the tribe El Batiheh. A number 
of these were constructed of wattled cane, giving free 
access to the air, and, from their diminutive size, more 
resembled cages for beasts than human habitations. 
Much of the plain had been under cultivation, but the 
harvest was over, and the fields were blackened from the 
burning of the stubble. We encamped on the western 
bank, about half a mile up the stream, to avoid the near 
vicinity of the Arabs, this tribe having a bad reputation. 
Across the river on the first spur of the hills which bound 
the plain in that direction, is a village, the reputed site 
of Bethsaida. The river ran in front of the camp, about 
ten paces distant, and in the rear and on one side, as well 
as along the bank, were a great many oleanders in full 
bloom. This day there were very many oleanders along 
the sea-shore, and in some places the road passed through 
groves of them, but we did not meet the aromatic shrub 
mentioned by Strabo. The purple flower I have before 
mentioned was frequent. The day had been oppressively 


hot, and as soon as the observations of Polaris were 
taken, we retired — but not to sleep — for we were dread- 
fully tormented by mosquitoes and fleas ; and the dis- 
tressing cries of the jackals were more incessant even 
than they were the night before. 

Starting early on the 14th, the road led at first through 
a morass intersected by several streams and numerous 
ditches, and covered with a tangled growth of shrubbery. 
Bethsaida, the birth-place of Peter, Andrew, and Philip, 
in full sight to the north-east. We soon began to ascend, 
clambering up the western hills, the river becoming 
rapid, brawling, and more contracted in its width — its 
banks fringed with the cane, the willow, and the oleander, 
the last in great profusion, its delicate pink hue contrast- 
ing well with the light and dark green of the other vege- 
tation. After a toilsome ascent of an hour, we reached 
the summit of the hill overlooking the plain. From it 
was a fine view of the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan, the 
latter rushing down in one line of foam fringed with wil- 
lows, oleanders, and the ghurrah of the lower Ghor. 
Thence descending and ascending the sides of a deep 
ravine, we reached the highest elevation, whence the face 
of the country breaks down towards lake Huleh. Thus 
far from the head of the plain, the river has been a per- 
fect torrent. Mount Hermon soon came into view, its 
brow seamed with lines of snow, which were fast disap- 
pearing beneath the sun of a Syrian summer. Passing a 
reservoir and a ruined khan, we came at noon to Jisr benat 
Ya'kob (Jacob's daughter's Bridge), with four arches. 
There was a toll-house on the western shore, and the 
ruins of an extensive khan on the eastern side. Here 
the river flowed with great rapidity, being the first rapid 
below the upper lake. The last was visible from the 

Above the bridge, the river, about forty yards wide, 


and full to the utmost capacity of its banks, flowed in 
nearly a due south course, through a narrow plain. Our 
road led parallel with the river, until we opened on a yet 
more extensive plain, with the lake on its eastern side. 
This plain was under partial cultivation ; there were two 
villages (one in ruins) near the centre, and many Arab 
encampments scattered about, — the men smoking in the 
tents, while the women, with uncovered heads, were at 
work in the broiling sun. This lake is the Merom of 
the Bible, and upon this plain, Joshua overthrew the 

We stopped to rest at 'Ain el Mellahah (Fountain of 
the Salt Works), with a primitive grist-mill beside it. 
Back of the mill, was a beautiful little lake of cool, pel- 
lucid water. The lofty hill to the south was covered 
with what seemed blocks of lava and scoriae, but we were 
too much overcome by heat and fatigue to visit it. 

In the afternoon, our course led along the western edge 
of the plain, between the lake and the mountains. We 
passed a large pond filled by numerous springs, a Turkish 
mausoleum, on a high western cliff, and a deep and wide 
ravine, with ruins on its northern summit. The plain 
seemed perfectly level to the eye ; and there were two 
streams running down its northern end, which, with the 
numerous fountains, render it very fertile. There were 
many encampments of the fellahin, who cultivate rice and 
dhoura. The tents were of cane wicker-work, with up- 
right sides, and more comfortable than any we had seen. 
The hills on the left formed a lofty range of swelling 
domes, terminating to the north in an abrupt perpen- 
dicular face of horizontal strata, — the prevailing rock, 
limestone. Sweeping round the head of the plain to the 
north-east, we ascended to an elevated plateau, and 
camped on the banks of the Golden Stream, a tributary 
of the river of Banias, one of the former supposed sources 


of the Jordan. The castle of Honin, which was con- 
cealed from view when on the plain, bore north-west. 
It seemed a bold, commanding fortress, on the extreme 
summit of the western range. 

Starting early on the 15th, our course led north-east, 
along the brow of the hill overlooking the Ardh el Huleh 
(Lands of Huleh), the lake, Tell el Kadi (Hill of the 
Judge), and the town of Banias, with several villages in 
sight. Much dhoura and rice, but little wheat, cultivated 
in the plain. 

In two hours, we crossed a fine old Eoman bridge, with 
its three arches, spanning the river Hasbeiya (the true 
Jordan), which, far below, swept through with great velo- 
city, its rushing and tumbling waters darkened with frag- 
ments of rock peering above the eddying whirls of foam ; 
the light spray half concealing the green fringe, richly 
decked with flowers, which ran along its shores. 

In one hour more, we came to Tell el Kadi (Hill of the 
Judge), the site of ancient Dan, and the Laish of the Ca- 
naanites, " the utmost border northwards of the land of 
Israel," and where Jeroboam placed one of his golden 
calves. It is an oblong hill, with swelling sides and a 
flattened summit, about eighty feet above the plain. 
Over the crest is a hollow, where the fountain bubbles up. 
There were a great many oak-trees scattered about ; and 
to the south-west, a ruined stone-house, not very ancient; 
and, in the same direction, on a smaller elevation, a 
ruined village. There was much tufa, and some quartz, 
and the whole hill bore traces of volcanic characters. 

On the west side, a short distance from the fountain, a 
stream, or rather many streams, gushed out so copiously 
from the hill-side as, in an instant, to form a river ; the 
water clear, sweet and cool. This was long supposed to 
be the highest source of the Jordan, and from it the 
name is said to have been derived. The only objection 


(although unconfessed) , of many to the derivation is 
that it is too simple. The Hebrew words Jor and Dan, 
as rendered in our language, mean River and Judge. 
Dan, in Hebrew, being the same as kadi in Arabic. To 
this place, as related in Genesis, Abraham pursued the 

Thence to Banias (Cesarea Philippi), the road led, in 
nearly an easterly direction, through a beautiful country, 
with numerous clumps of trees, mostly oak, and many coy 
flowers, peeping out from the tufted grass. Ascending a 
hill-side, dotted with oaks, we encountered many streams 
rushing down, it being the hour of irrigation. Passing 
through an extensive olive-orchard, with grain growing 
beneath and around the trees, we opened the town, seated 
near the head of a narrow valley, with the ruins of a 
bridge, over a deep ravine, and a castle towering high 
on the hill which overlooked it from the east. In 
every direction there were broken shafts and capitals of 
marble pillars scattered upon the ground, and an entire 
bridge, through the single arch of which rushed a clear, 
rapid stream, that immediately after leaped down some 
twenty feet, and was lost to sight in the deep and winding 
gorge. It was the River of Banias, one of the tributaries 
of Lake Huleh. 

The houses, built of uncemented stones taken from the 
ruins, were mostly one story high, almost every one sur- 
mounted by a light, graceful structure of lithe and flexible 
boughs, wattled with the leaves upon them, and with net- 
work-like cane floors, laid on transverse poles, some two 
or three feet above the roof of the dwelling. There were 
many mulberry-trees about, cultivated, we were told, 
more for the fruit than for rearing the silk-worm, only a 
small quantity of silk being raised. 

Stopping to rest, a few moments, under a majestic oak, 
on a raised platform, encircled three feet high by a wall 


of fluted and chiselled blocks of marble, we proceeded to 
the cave, beneath which, it is said, flows the stream we 
had crossed, which finds an outlet farther down. The 
cave was dry, but, in places, bore marks of recent water. 
We were assured that, in the rainy season, it is nearly 
filled. It no doubt communicates, through a fissure, with 
one or more gorges in the mountain above. In the face 
of the rock, above and beside the cave, were niches, sup- 
posed to have been occupied by statues of Pan and the 
nymphs, for another name of this place is Paneas. There 
is a fabulous legend of the true source of this stream 
being Lake Phiala, a short distance to the south-east of 
the town. Josephus states that " Philip the Tetrarch cast 
straw into this lake, which came out again at Panion, 
which, till that time, was taken for the head of the Jor- 
dan." To this place our Saviour came from Bethsaida. 

From Banias we pursued a north-west course, the 
country rolling; the soil, like that of yesterday, red 
clay, with a substratum of limestone, which occasion- 
ally cropped out. At first there was much cultiva- 
tion, and a great many people harvesting; their com- 
plexions were much lighter than those of the dwellers in 
the plain. The women wore petticoats and aprons ; and, 
when first seen, there was a general shout along the line — 
" hurrah for civilization !" We soon came upon stone 
fences, and other marks of a more secure tenure of pro- 
perty; and the people were courteous; saluting and 
returning the salutations of strangers. In saluting, they 
placed the right hand upon the breast. We were once 
more among Christians. 

The road led over two high mountain-ridges and down 
into a rolling plain, with fields of dhoura, beans, and 
houma, and across the Hasbeiya (Jordan), by a bridge at 
Khan Suleil. It then wound, first to the north, and then 
gradually to the north-east, along the valley, which nar- 


rowed as we advanced, and led through groves of olive 
and some poplars, and by fields of grain, in sight of 
several villages. Turning to the south, and crossing the 
river again at a ford, and then rounding to the east, we 
clambered the steep Wady et Teim, along a most exe- 
crable road. It is said that the mountaineers, to increase 
their security, purposely render their roads almost im- 
passable. We soon opened the town of Hasbeiya, seated 
far up on the crest of the right acclivity, its castle and a 
minaret conspicuous, and camped on a ledge, in an olive- 
grove, about one-third up from the bed of the ravine. 

The town was two hundred feet above us, on the opposite 
side, on the crest of a hill, which sweeps from east round 
to south, and overlooks the ravine on those two sides. 
The houses are two stories high, with the universal flat 
mud roof, which answers very well, there being, even at 
that elevation, but little frost in winter to affect them. 
It is not a walled town, but its terraces, and the horizontal 
lines of houses along the face of the hill, give it quite a 
fortified aspect. There were groves of olive, mulberry, 
and fig, and some apricot trees on each side of the ravine, 
from its head as far down as we could see. There was a 
large stone reservoir, with a ruined bridge, at the head 
of the ravine ; a meagre fountain a little lower down ; 
and, immediately below us, three or four silk-mills, con- 
structed of wattled twigs, like the summer sleeping apart- 
ments on the roofs at Banias. On the cliffs behind us 
were many scattered oaks, with here and there an orchard 
and a dwelling. The rich cultivation extended from the 
head of the ravine far up to a village on the mountain- 
side, which was, in turn, overlooked by the snow-capped 
crest of Mount Hermon, Ghebel es Sheikh, Mountain of 
the Aged, or Lord of the Mountain, as it is variously 

From extreme weariness, we could not leave the tents 


the day after our arrival, even to visit the town, but im- 
patiently awaited intelligence from our wounded comrade ; 
intending, if his life were in danger, to hasten to him. 

On the 16th, we received a great many visitors, and 
obtained much information from some of the most intelli- 
gent. There are 1500 who pay poll-tax in the town; and 
as it is only paid by able-bodied men, over twenty-one 
and under forty years of age, there must be near 9000 
inhabitants in Hasbeiya, of whom two-thirds are Chris- 
tians, mostly of the Greek persuasion. The Protest- 
ants number fifty-five ; the Maronites, fifty ; the Greek 
Catholics, thirty ; and there are a few Jews. There was 
great religious discord here : the members of the Greek 
church being prohibited from speaking to, or holding any 
communication with the Protestants. The governor was 
under the influence of the Greeks, it was asserted, from 
mercenary considerations; but the rest of the Muslims, 
as well as the Druses, were free from intolerance, and 
seemed disposed to favour the persecuted. Freedom of 
religious worship was denied to the Protestants, and we 
were indignant witnesses of the persecutions to which 
they were subjected. 

We are, mercifully, so framed as to depend upon asso- 
ciation with each other, to relieve necessities, to enhance 
enjoyments, and to maintain security. Peace, therefore, 
and harmony, unity and benevolence, is the proper con- 
dition of the human family; without which, man but 
cumbers the earth he should adorn; and, in his abase- 
ment, deeply feels the abiding curse of Ishmael, — " thy 
hand is against every man, and every man's hand against 

Of all the embittered feelings of the human heart, there 
are none so detestable as those engendered by fanaticism. 
Of all the human family, there is not one so malevolent 
and so fiendish as the sour and self-sufficient bigot, who, 


catching a brand from the altar of Moloch, lights the fires 
of persecution, and perverting, with infamous audacity, 
the mild breathings of the sacred volume into lessons of 
cruelty and proscription, becomes the foe of his fellow- 
man and the mocker of his august Creator. The perse- 
cuted have our warmest sympathies. 

In the afternoon, Prince Ali called upon us. He is 
of the family of Shad, which came in with Saladin, and 
is the oldest in Syria. We accompanied him to the source 
of the Jordan. Descending the ravine, and turning to 
the north, we passed through groves of olive, fig, and 
mulberry trees, and crossed the river over a one-arched 
bridge ; the banks lined with willow and plane trees, and 
luxuriantly fertile. Thence going east, in ten minutes 
we came suddenly to the source, a bold, perpendicular 
rock, from beneath which the river gushed copious, trans- 
lucent, and cool, in two rectangular streams, one to the 
north-east, the other to the north-west. The scarp of 
the rock was about forty feet high ; and the north-east 
branch, being mere back-water, extended only a few 
hundred yards; but its banks were fringed with the 
wild rose, the white and pink oleander, and the clematis 
orientalis, or oriental virgin's bower. The north-west 
branch, at the distance of about a hundred yards, 
plunged over a dam, and went rushing through the arch 
of the bridge below. The hand of art could not have 
improved the scene. The gigantic rock, all majesty, 
above ; its banks, enamelled with beauty and fragrance, 
all loveliness, beneath ; render it a fitting fountain-head 
of a stream which was destined to lave the immaculate 
body of the Redeemer of the world. Mr. Dale, who had 
the eye of an artist, thought that the scene would make 
a more beautiful picture than any he had ever beheld. 
He sketched it, with Prince Ali in the foreground. 

The costume of the prince, except in the richness of 


the materials, was the same as that of the majority of the 
males of the upper class. He wore a low crimson tar- 
bouch, with a flat silver button on the crown, a brown 
cloth embroidered jacket, with short, tight sleeves, loose 
white trousers gathered at the ancles, a green sash round 
the waist, and red boots and slippers upon the feet. The 
lower orders, instead of the jacket, were mostly attired 
in a gown of some striped pattern, with slashed sleeves, 
open in front, and confined by a sash. The women were 
adorned with ear-rings, and wore the red cloth cap with 
the button, and a string of gold pieces in front, spanning 
from ear to ear across the brow, and a white veil thrown 
over all. The ear-rings consist of three or four gazas 
(gold pieces) each, suspended from a golden loop. Like 
the Egyptian women, they dye their eye-lids with anti- 
mony and soot, which gives an unearthly appearance, and 
very much disfigures them. 

While here, our observation confirmed the accounts 
given us of the wonderful product of terrace cultivation, 
but I will not cumber my already extended narrative 
with statistics. 

There were many Druse and Christian women at work 
with the men in the fields. The former do not allow 
their faces to be seen by strangers. The other women, 
without being immodest, did not shun being seen. 

There are supposed to be ten thousand Druses able to 
bear arms, which make about fifty thousand in all, living 
in the Lebanon, from Beirut to Tyre, along the coast, in 
the Hauran, and near Damascus. Their religion is little 
known. A catechism of it which has been published, is so 
ambiguous, that it throws little light upon their creed. It 
originated in Egypt. The tradition as related to us, is this. 
In the 600th year of the Hegira, or about 800 years ago, 
there was a tyrannical ruler of Egypt, who was persuaded 
by an artful Persian to declare himself a god. Shortly 


after the self-constituted deity disappeared, murdered, it 
was supposed, by his instigator, with the connivance of 
the tyrant's sister. The Persian then gave out that the 
missing deity had left a book suspended to the door of the 
great mosque, where it was found. This book is rever- 
enced as their bible. It inculcates the transmigration of 
souls, and enjoins conformity in outward observance with 
the prevailing religion of the state. They teach the 
Koran to their children, and recite it in their public 
prayers, while they are said secretly to detest it. They 
have houses of prayer, apart from their villages, whither 
they repair every Friday evening. Prayers on such occa- 
sions are first offered in open communion, but, towards 
the close of the exercises the great body of the people 
retire, and only the initiated remain. They are taught 
to give no direct answer to one of another persuasion. If 
one be asked his name, he will probably say that he does 
not know. Much was told us of their secret rites, which 
I discard as being too horrid to be true. The costume of 
the men is the turban, with the tarbouch beneath, Turkish 
trowsers and slippers, and a spencer or light frock, open 
in front. With similar dresses, the married women wear 
the long hollow horn, its base resting on the head and its 
point protruding forwards or sideways, much in the shape 
of an elongated cone. 

On the 17th, Mr. Dale and myself visited the valley of 
the Litany (ancient Leontes) . Crossing a cultivated ridge, 
with Kiilat es Shukif (castle Belle Forte of the crusaders) 
to the S. W., we came upon a ravine, with a stream run- 
ning down from the south at right angles with the river. 
The torrent of water pouring down the ravine, rushed 
across the river and regurgitated loudly in a large cave 
on the opposite shore. 

The rolling valley of the Btik'ah is hemmed in by the 
two parallel ridges of Lebanon and anti-Lebanon. The 


latter skirts it on the east, the former upon the west. 
Like the waving backs of huge monsters, whose bodies 
are prostrate but their heads erect, their summits stretch 
in ascending lines to the north till they terminate in two 
crowning peaks, Ghebel es Sheikh and Ghebel Sunnin, 
each capped and ribbed with snow. The Litany ran here 
close against the Lebanon range, the stream visible here 
and, there far down the steep chasm. 

Descending, with great difficulty, we came upon the 
river where it flowed impetuously beneath a natural 
bridge, — an arch excavated, by the water, through the 
opposing mass of rock. The reverberating noise beyond 
soon told of its reappearance ; and, clambering along and 
down the precipice, we saw it issuing gently, at first, from 
its subterranean chasm, its banks fringed with the willow 
and the plane tree, and decked with flowers of the richest 
hue. The stream thence flowed with increasing velocity, 
for about 200 yards, between a high, naked rock on one 
side, and a luxuriant growth of overhanging plane-trees 
on the other, when, whirling suddenly to the right, and 
again to the left, it gathered its tumultuous waters, and, 
rushing in a narrow but impetuous cascade into a circular 
basin, it thence leaped twenty feet into a foaming caldron. 
The rays of the sun were reflected in rain-bow hues, as 
they fell upon the long line of foam, which sparkled and 
glittered among the trees, whose branches almost inter- 
twined above, and nearly overshadowed the stream that 
rushed so madly beneath. If the site of the grove of 
Daphne were upon this stream instead of the Orontes, 
here, no doubt, would have been the favoured spot. 

We here gathered the althea, the retem, or broom- 
plant, the dianthus, or pink, and the snap-dragon. 

On our return, we had, from an elevation, a full view 
of the Ardh el Huleh (Lands of Huleh), lake Huleh, the 
Jordan above and beyond, and the Sea of Galilee in the 


distance. Turning aside from the road, we visited some 
pits of bitumen. There were five of them; two then in 
operation, one sixteen and the other twenty-five feet deep. 
The bitumen is less porous than that of the Dead Sea. 

With the exception of those of the highest class among 
the Turks, all the females of the town came indiscrimi- 
nately to the fountain in the ravine for water. Each one 
carried a large jar, some upon the head, but most upon 
the back of the neck, between the shoulders. While 
here, we saw the wives and daughters of Christians (Pro- 
testants and Greeks), Druses and Turks, among them the 
married daughter of the richest man in town, pass, at all 
hours of the day, to and from the fountain. 

The transition from a severely active life in the plains 
to a wholly inactive one in an elevated region proved 
very trying, and we waited impatiently for intelligence 
from our comrade. Not hearing on Sunday, I, that 
evening, despatched a messenger to Beirut. 



Receiving, on Monday, the joyful intelligence that 
Homer was out of danger, and that Mr. Aulick and Mr. 
Bedlow were on the way to rejoin us, I determined to 
remain no longer inactive; and, early on the 19th, started 
to lead the party over the Anti-Lebanon into the plain of 

41 2f 


Clambering diagonally up the mountain-side, which 
was beautifully terraced, and clothed with vineyards and 
olive and mulberry orchards, we passed two Druse vil- 
lages, and a silk-mill, near a cave, which was filled with 
water, and contained crypts and sarcophagi. 

The cultivation gradually disappeared as we ascended, 
and was succeeded by dwarf oaks, with some large ones 
in the hollows, and in sheltered places ; there were 
several streams trickling down the mountain side. Near 
the streams was some grass, and on their banks, and upon 
the mountain-slope, we observed the oleander, the con- 
volvulus, the pink-flowered valerian, and the retem or 
broom-plant, the last covered with its straw-coloured and 
fragrant blossoms. The oak was succeeded by heath and 
fern, the last beautiful with its small, scarlet blossom ; 
then succeeded lichens and moss, terminating in masses 
of limestone-rock, with boulders of quartz. We crossed, 
in a gorge (the Wistanee), between Mount Hermon and the 
next peak to the southward. The two crests were covered 
and many clefts on both sides filled with snow. From 
the summit, the country below, which had seemed so 
mountainous to the upward view, appeared an immense 
rolling plain. Far to the north-west, at the verge of the 
seeming plain, were the red sands, a dazzling line of gold 
separating the luxuriant green of the plain from the light 
azure of the far-stretching sea. Upon that line of sand, 
like clustering dots upon a chart, were the cities of Tyre, 
Sidon, and Beirut. Another plain stretched, from the 
opposite side, south to the Hauran, and to the east until 
it was lost in the great desert. On the northern margin 
of that plain, but yet in the far distance, lay the city of 
Damascus, Es Sham (the Holy), embosomed in groves 
and meadows. We made an attempt to ascertain the 
height of Mount Hermon with our boiling-water appa- 
ratus, but the thermometer attached to it was not gra- 


duated sufficiently low. The summit is estimated to be 
about 9000 feet above the level of the sea, which is, per- 
haps, but little more than the actual height. As we 
ascended, we suffered from a stricture about the temples, 
but nearer the summit, the feeling passed away, and was 
succeeded by great nervous exhilaration. 

"We found snow some distance down the eastern slope ; 
and the descent was gradual ; but, from the nature of the 
road, very slow and excessively fatiguing. As we 
descended, the limestone rock disappeared, giving place 
to sand-stone and trap; and, lower down, serpentine 
occasionally cropped out. At 'Ain Ennahad (Copper 
Fountain), the water was deeply impregnated with iron; 
the dry bed of one of its branches was coated with the 
yellow oxide of the same metal, and the rocks around 
bore marks of metallic corrosion. Near the base of the 
mountain, there was a profusion of wild roses. 

The next day, the road led over a high, rolling plain, 
along the flank of the mountain, which, ribbed and capped 
with snow, formed a bleak barrier to the west. Ahead 
was a sea of verdure, which indicated the gardens around 
Damascus. There is an unfounded legend that Muham- 
med refused to enter that terrestrial paradise. Advancing 
into cultivation, there were patches of wheat and barley 
on the high ground ; and in the ravines, groves of olives, 
figs, apricots, English walnuts, and some melons and 
cucumbers. The prevailing rock, a dark granite, with 
metallic veins, and some quartz. As we proceeded, 
the number of villages increased, each with its girdle of 
vegetation ; an oasis in the wide-spread and arid desert. 
Occasionally the wind, sweeping down the gorges of the 
mountains, would whirl the dust of the incinerated plain 
in circling eddies, high in air, very much like our water- 
spouts at sea. There were some camels moving about in 
search of food ; but there were few people, and no birds 


or wild animals : — a long, dreary ride over the dry plain, 
under a burning sun. I had brought the party down 
from the mountain, where the air was too keen for our 
debilitated condition ; — here there was a prospect of the 
other extreme, and that the weather would prove hot 
and relaxing. 

In the heat of the day, the whole plain seemed to un- 
dulate, and the ascending vapour formed a perfect mirage, 
through which, like light-houses above the sea, the mina- 
rets of the villages were alone visible. We passed through 
the populous village of Kattana, and a most extensive 
olive orchard — and with the suburb town of Salihiyeh on 
a slope of the mountain to the left, and on the right a 
long line of vegetation indicating the course of the river 
until it was lost in the desert ; and Damascus, unseen 
though near, before us ; we pressed forward as rapidly as 
our strength and that of our steeds permitted. The road 
led through avenues of large English walnut trees, the 
blossoms nipped by frost. For miles the way was lined 
with walls composed of sun-dried blocks of mud, inter- 
mixed with pebbles, each about three feet high, four feet 
long, and one foot thick, larger, but in every other respect 
very much like the adobes of Mexico. This climate is 
said to be very cold in winter. It can only be so by con- 
trast with the heat of summer, for much frost would 
crumble these walls in a single season. Within the lines 
of walnut trees there were orchards of olives and apricots, 
and patches of wheat, barley, melons, and leguminous 
plants. The road ran winding among these delicious 
gardens, with a rapid stream always on one and generally 
on both sides, and to which, through each garden there 
flowed a brawling tributary. After the poetic Lamartine 
and the graphic Miss Martineau, it would be folly to at- 
tempt a description of Damascus. I therefore simply 
transcribe what fell under our observation. 


At 4 P. M., we were abreast of Bab el Karrawat (Gate 
of the Aqueduct), and turning to the left along the Gre- 
cian aqueduct, we came upon a beautiful green, level as a 
meadow, through the centre of which flows the far-famed 
Barada, formed by the union of two streams above, which 
are supposed to have been the Parphar and the Abana, 
rivers of Damascus, mentioned by Naaman the Syrian. 

On our right was a collection of domes and minarets, 
and over the river on a slightly ascending slope, was the 
city proper of Damascus. On the high ground back of it 
was a suburb town, the resort of wild fanatics, with a 
conspicuous tomb, called the tomb of Nimrod, on a pro- 
jecting promontory. To our surprise we found that 
Damascus was situated at almost the very base of Anti- 
Lebanon, instead of in the midst of an extensive plain. 
Crossing the bridge which spanned the Barada, we turned 
to the east, and skirting the northern wall, passed through 
a cemetery, many of the tombs in which were enclosed 
in wooden lattice work with bouquets of flowers suspended 
within, and many women moving about among them. 
We next passed a house enclosing the tomb of a santon, 
with numerous placards affixed to it, whither the afflicted 
or their friends come to pray for recovery from sickness. 
Very soon after we encountered a fellow-countryman, and 
our Vice-Consul, a Syrian Jew. By them we were con- 
ducted through Bab es Salem (Gate of Peace), to the 
quarters that had been provided for us. Before entering 
the city, we were advised to furl our flag, with the assu- 
rance that no foreign one had ever been tolerated within 
the walls ; that the British Consul's had been torn down 
on the first attempt to raise it, and that the appearance 
of ours would excite commotion, and perhaps lead to 
serious consequences. But we had carried it to every 
place we had visited, and, determining to take our chances 
with it, we kept it flying. Many angry comments were, I 


believe, made by the populace, but, as we did not under- 
stand what our toorgeman was too wary to interpret, we 
passed unmolested. 

Our quarters consisted of a bower, about eighty by 
twenty feet, a small fountain at one end, and a large 
reservoir at the other, with a miniature canal between ; 
a grotto-like recess, with a divan, which was assigned to 
the sailors, and a large room, with a dais and a jet d'eau 
in a circular basin — called, by the Jews, "a sea" — for 
ourselves. The last gave us the first correct idea of the 
" Brazen Sea" of Solomon. 

On our way around the walls, we had seen many light- 
coloured pigeons, with fan-tails ; and in this garden were 
ravens of a fawn colour, with black head, wings, tail, and 
feet, — which contradicts mythology; for we are there 
told that the plumage of this bird was originally white, 
but that Apollo turned it all black, because it misinformed 
him of the infidelity of Coronis. 

The windows of our apartments looked upon the 
Barada, which flowed immediately beneath them, be- 
tween two tiny cataracts. On the opposite bank, was a 
large rural and crowded cafe, perfectly embowered in a 
grove of magnificent plane-trees. It was a lively and 
most attractive sight. There were Turks, Greeks, Arabs, 
and Syrians, in variety of costume, supinely sipping 
coffee or smoking, in groups or apart, or attending to the 
recital of a tale ; and on one side a crowd was gathered, 
listening to a musician, and looking upon the feats of a 
tight-rope dancer, whose figure was at times half concealed 
from us by the intervening branches. As the day waned, 
numerous little coloured lamps, suspended in every direc- 
tion about the trees, were lighted up, which shone beauti- 
fully amid the dark green foliage. 

This scene so excited our curiosity, from the idea it 
conveyed of a social hilarity which we had never before 


witnessed in our intercourse among Asiatics, that, wearied 
as we were, we determined to sally forth. On our way, 
through the dark, narrow, and crooked streets, we fre- 
quently stumbled over sleeping dogs. These animals 
were by no means vicious, but would howl when trodden 
upon, and lazily get out of the way. They were more 
numerous than in Constantinople ; and we were told that 
they perform the office of scavengers, and are, moreover, 
supported by charitable contribution. 

While making our way through a crowded bazaar, a 
Turk, in passing, elevated his hands above his head. 
We did not at the time understand it, but learned after- 
wards, that formerly it was an enforced custom for Chris- 
tians to keep the centre of the street, which is nothing 
more than a gutter, while the Muslims passed along the 
elevated side-walk. The Turk, on this occasion, not 
being so tall as the member of our party next to him, his 
gesture was intended as a kind of assertion of superiority. 

The bazaars were covered in, and the shops in those 
appropriated to merchandise were closed ; but there were 
a great many cafes, not confined to houses, but each one 
embracing a considerable space of the street before it. 
There were lines drawn across, some ten feet above the 
pavement, to which were suspended hundreds of little 
lamps, under which, on broad benches and low stools, 
squatted and sat, those visitors who preferred the sensual 
indulgence of coffee and the chibouque ; while those 
whose tastes were more intellectual, listened silentlv 
within, as one read or related some tale of the East. 
The scene brought the days of our boyhood back, and we 
remembered the Arabian Nights, — Haroun al Kaschid, 
and his excursions in disguise. 

Early the next morning, went to a bath, passing on 
the way the court of the great mosque, once the Christian 
church of St. John. Many of the streets were so narrow, 


that the projecting balconies often touched the walls of 
the houses opposite. The bath was very much like those 
of Constantinople, but more elaborate in its decorations, 
and the process of ablution was more prolonged and 
complex. The building was ornamented in the Chinese 
style. The interior of the dome-roof was painted sky- 
blue, and the walls were in fresco, of Chinese scenery. 
There were pagodas six stories high, with grotesque orna- 
ments on the top, and trees and flowers nearly as high as 
the pagodas. There were elevated divans around the 
rotunda, and two recesses, fitted in like manner, suffi- 
ciently large to accommodate about sixty people. These 
recesses led off to apartments with dome-roofs, studded 
with circular glass-lights, and having marble floors and 
fountains, and alabaster reservoirs. We were led into 
one upon wooden clogs, three or four inches high, — for 
the floors were heated from beneath, — and made to sit 
down by one of the fountains which supplied hot and 
cold water in unlimited profusion, and the whole apart- 
ment was filled with a hot and almost stifling vapour. 
After being parboiled, the scarf-skin of the whole body was 
scraped off with horse-hair gloves, by yellow imps with 
shaven crowns, nearly as naked as ourselves. We were 
afterwards conducted into a room of yet higher tempera- 
ture, where we were boiled a little more, lathered, and 
thoroughly washed off. We were then enveloped in nap- 
kins, a capacious turban was wreathed around our heads, 
and, almost exhausted and panting for a less rarefied 
air, were slowly supported to the outer room, where we 
reclined upon luxurious couches, and, at will, sipped 
coffee or sherbet, or smoked the aromatic chibouque. 

Friday, June 23. A close, warm day, but the air was 
much refreshed by the play of the fountains, which 
sounded like gentle rain, and mingling with the gush of 
the river, lulled us to sleep at night. 


In the course of the day we visited the bazaars, which 
are larger, loftier, and cleaner; but the shops, even in 
Persian goods, were not so well supplied as those of Con- 
stantinople. The silk for this market is brought from 
the Anti-Lebanon, and is now about 110,000 lbs. per 
annum, one-half of the amount brought in formerly. The 
demand, which regulates the supply, has decreased, in con- 
sequence of the general introduction of cotton goods, 
mostly from England. There were a great many pieces 
of muslin with American stamps, but they were the coun- 
terfeits of English manufacturers. One of the khans was 
finer than any we had seen in Constantinople. 

The population of Damascus was estimated by Dr. 
Mashaka, an intelligent Syrian and member of the Asiatic 
Historical Society of Beirut, at 115,000, and he thinks it 
is upon the increase. This increase, however, is any- 
thing but an evidence of the prosperity of the country, 
for he attributes it to the desertion of the villages, caused 
by the frequent forays of the wandering Bedawin. He 
considers that the deaths are fewer even with the in- 
creased population, which he ascribes to the more fre- 
quent inoculation of children : — for the small-pox has been 
at times a devastating scourge. 

In the evening we dined with Dr. Paulding, who with 
his brother-in-law, the Rev. Mr. Barnet, belong to the 
American Evangelical Mission in Syria. We were hand- 
somely entertained, and in many other respects indebted 
to their kindness. In this land of mental indolence and 
sensual enjoyment, it was gratifying to converse with our 
countrymen, and to look upon books, maps, and other 
marks of western civilization. We heard to-day a singu- 
lar but well authenticated history of a ruling family, 
which is indicative alike of the political features and the 
peculiar manners of the country. 

Said Jumblat was the wealthiest and most powerful of 


the princes of Lebanon. His younger brother, the Emir 
Beschir, since so well known in Syrian history, was aspir- 
ing and unprincipled, and in order to form a party of his 
own, professed to be a convert to Christianity, and by 
degrees won over the Maronites. As soon as he found 
himself sufficiently strong he made war upon his brother, 
and defeating him in a pitched battle, drove him to the 
Anti-Lebanon, where the fugitive was received by one of 
the mountain chiefs. But the treacherous host, bribed 
by the Emir, decoyed his guest to Damascus, where he 
was put to death. The widow of Sa'id Jumblat fled to 
the mountains of Hauran, with her three sons, but some 
years after being sorely pinched by want, she sent them 
to implore the mercy of their uncle. They suddenly and 
unannounced appeared before the Emir, and prostrating 
themselves in the humblest manner, quietly sat down 
upon the divan. Their uncle, not recognising them, de- 
manded their business, when the eldest replied by asking 
if a child were responsible for the debts of a parent in- 
curred before it was of age. The Emir said, certainly not. 
" Then," continued the eldest, " my brothers and myself 
are not answerable for the acts of our father," and 
divulged who they were. Their uncle, moved by their 
appeal, received them into favour, and gave them back 
part of their paternal inheritance. After testing the 
character and qualifications of the eldest, he procured 
him the commission of colonel in the Egyptian army. 
When Syria reverted to the dominion of the Porte, the 
Emir Beschir was deposed, and, with his family, impri- 
soned in Constantinople ; while his nephew, the eldest 
son of the murdered brother, was invested with the patri- 
monial estates of both families. But the two younger 
brothers were vicious and unprincipled ; and, combining 
together, drove the elder away, and seized upon all his 
property. They had two cousins, the friends of that 


brother of whom they were jealous and fearful. Coming 
unexpectedly, one day, to the house of their kinsmen, 
they asked for a draught of water, but declined the invi- 
tation to enter. One of the cousins brought the water, 
and the other, equally unsuspecting, came forth to speak 
to them, when, without the slightest warning, they were 
both shot down. The second brother has since driven 
the younger one away, and offers 100,000 piastres for 
his head. This, better than a thousand comments, will 
give an idea of the insecurity of life and property in this 

In the cool of the evening, we went without the walls. 
Passing through the east gate, consisting of a large central 
one, and two side ones now blocked up, we had, from 
without, a fine view of the city and its suburbs. 

The walls are not strong, the towers having been 
levelled by Ibrahim Pasha, and the materials used in the 
construction of a large caserne, or infantry barracks, 
which, a monument of Turkish indolence, is unroofed and 
falling rapidly to decay. We saw the old Koman founda- 
tions of the walls, the ancient arches, the fosse, and evi- 
dences of a wall of cement between the outer and the 
inner one. Near the Jerusalem gate, we were shown the 
place where St. Paul was let down in a basket, and, on 
the road beyond, the spot of his conversion ; and, on our 
return, we passed through " the street which is called 

This country is the cradle of the human race ; and Da- 
mascus is certainly one of the oldest cities in the world. 
Its name is said to imply " the blood of the righteous ;" 
derived, it is supposed, from the death of Abel. Eleazar, 
the steward of Abraham, was from Damascus : and about 
half an hour beyond it, is Hobah of the Old Testament, 
whither the patriarch followed, to rescue Lot from his 


The history of this city teems with vicissitudes. Per- 
sians, Greeks, Romans, and Saracens, have been here; 
and there are ruins, and vestiges of ruins, which would 
delight an antiquarian. 

On Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath, we were taken to 
some houses of wealthy Jews. The exteriors of the 
dwellings were unpretending and semi-dilapitated ; and 
the entrances were uncleanly, and, in some instances, 
almost filthy. A narrow, crooked way led to an open 
court, paved with marble, with a marble fountain and 
shrubs and flowering plants in the centre, and lofty, spa- 
cious, and elaborately-decorated rooms and alcoves around 
it. At the farther end of each room, was the elevated 
dais, with divans of costliest silk cushions on the three 
sides, and Persian carpets between them. From the dais 
to the opposite end of the room, was a floor of tessellated 
marble, with an overflowing reservoir, or " sea," supplied 
by a jet d'eau. The door and windows opened upon the 
court; and the walls, wainscoting, door and window- 
frames, and the lofty ceiling, were of mosaic, of different 
kinds of costly wood, with rich gilt edgings and arabesque 

There were neither tables nor chairs; and, in the 
sleeping apartments, the beds consisted of thick cushions 
piled upon each other. The men were dressed in black 
turbans and gaberdines ; the wives and daughters, in 
narrow-skirted gowns, usually of English printed muslin ; 
and a silk boddice, generally yellow, fitting closely to the 
form — except that, opening and diverging in front, they 
displayed a thin, white gauze across the breast ; which, 
in consequence of the pressure beneath, protruded forth 
and presented a most disgusting appearance. The mar- 
ried women sedulously concealed their own, but wore a 
quantity of artificial hair, confined by a net-work cap, 
ornamented with gold coins, pearls, and precious stones. 


The unmarried wore their own hair, uncovered and una- 
dorned. The eye-brows were shaved ; and over each eye 
was a black, curved line, extending from the outer corner 
and meeting in the centre, at the bridge of the nose. 
The lower eye-lid, beneath the lash, was also blackened, 
and gave to the whole countenance a fierce and repulsive 
aspect, and the nails were stained with henna. They 
wore white stockings and loose, thin, yellow, morocco 
slippers, which, when they left the dais, were thrust into 
wooden clogs, and in which they moved about with per- 
fect ease. These clogs were of wood, inlaid with pearl, 
consisting of one horizontal piece, shaped like the sole of 
a shoe, supported on two upright ones, eight inches high. 
They slipped their feet into them without stooping, 
merely half turning round in the evolution ; and they 
always left them at the foot of the dais when they came 
upon it. Their appearance and their movements were 
unbecoming and ungraceful. 

In the evening, the Great Sheikh of the 'Anazeh tribe 
(the ruler of the desert) came to see us ; and, also, the 
Sherif of Damascus. The former is a fine, mild-looking 
man ; but his character belies the expression of his fea- 
tures, for he was recently concerned in an outrage upon 
some English travellers. He is the Sheikh with whom 
those who wish to visit the ruins of Palmyra, or cross the 
great desert, must make their contract. 

The Sherif was a venerable-looking old man, with a 
magnificent turban, of a fine, white material, intertwined 
with gold thread. He came in imposing state, with 
numerous attendants ; while the powerful sheikh, who 
holds life and death at his disposal, announced himself. 

Sunday, June 25. The weather oppressively hot, and 
many complaining ; which determined me to remain no 
longer in the city, but to lead the party again across the 


Starting a little before sunset, and passing through the 
suburb and a gorge in the hills, we had, from an elevation 
just above where the Barada bursts through the moun- 
tain, a full view of the city and the surrounding country. 
There were the mountains, the desert, and the forest of 
gardens; the last intermingled with walls, and domes, 
and minarets, and untold roofs, and the tops of trees, and 
the glittering sheen of running water, all forming a scene 
of beauty unparalleled and indescribable. Damascus, 
with its gardens, is a city in a grove ; and conveys the 
idea of art seated in the lap of nature, — an island of archi- 
tecture in the midst of a sea of verdure. A little after 7 
P. M., we encamped, for the night, by the village of Da- 
miir, on the right bank of the Barada. 

On the 26th our course led along the right bank of the 
river, now an impetuous stream, winding frequently, with 
many graceful curves from side to side of a narrow and 
luxuriant valley. The country was highly cultivated, 
with barley, dhoura, the walnut (which is an article of 
food), the olive, fig, apricot, and mulberry, the pea, and 
the castor bean. As we advanced, the olive was suc- 
ceeded by the mulberry and the vine. The rocks were 
limestone, conglomerate, quartz, and concretions, and in 
one place there were scattered fragments of marble 
columns on the plain ; and just below a Koman bridge a 
thick stratum of incrustations of roots of trees and other 
vegetable matter. The prevailing flowers were the wild 
white rose ; a vine resembling the morning-glory, and a 
beautiful pink flower. It is strange that with a climate 
so similar to this, South America does not produce the 
white rose. High up on the eastern bank, over the bridge, 
are tombs excavated in the rock, and the ruins of a 
Roman aqueduct, and a tablet over it with an inscription 
in Roman characters. 

Just before opening the plain of Zebdany, the Barada 



turns suddenly from west to south in its course, and is 
joined by a smaller but an impetuous stream from the 
north, and the two united leap a cataract of twenty, 
and thence rush foaming down a cascade of thirty feet. 
Where the plain of Zebdany opens, the two ranges of 
mountains nearly meet, leaving but a passage to the 
great plain. 

The road, heretofore, had been winding within a nar- 
row valley, with mountains on each side, and the river 
rushing and tumbling through ; and wherever joined by 
a tributary there was a village, and around each, in pro- 
portion to the size of the stream, were irrigated fields and 
luxuriant gardens. But, soon after entering the wide 
plain, the vegetation began to spread from the centre, 
where ran the river, towards the brown and parched 
mountains, which, with their sharp and rugged outlines, 
bounded the horizon on either side. 

As we approached the village of Zebdany, the winding 
road was shaded by the willow, and confined between 
hedges of the wild rose and a fragrant but unknown 
shrub. We camped early just without the village, which 
is embosomed amid luxuriant gardens enclosed by wattled 
hedges with rude gates, and beautiful, shaded walks be- 
tween. The enclosures, like those of Damascus, were a 
combination of patches of grain, orchards, and gardens, 
with a running stream through each. Among the fruit 
trees we gladly recognized the apple and the quince. The 
apples are celebrated in the market of Damascus. 

Among these gardens, in the opinion of some writers, 
was the paradise of our first parents ; and tradition deno- 
minates a spot within it the tomb of Adam. 

In the evening, visited a holy spring above the town. 
It was a rill of water trickling from the hill-side and fall- 
ing into a rude stone trough, with a banner on each side, 
containing an inscription from the Koran, praying God to 


bless all Muslims who drank at that sacred fountain. 
Upon the left was a lamp in a recess, which is lighted 
after nightfall. We found there a poor old Christian 
woman from Mesopotamia beyond the Euphrates. She 
had accompanied her husband on a pilgrimage to Jerusa- 
lem, where he died, and she had only been able to get 
thus far towards her native country. While conversing 
with her, a proud Kurd, one of the princes of the district, 
rode up, and made her stop filling her jar and step aside 
for his horse to drink. It was a splendid chesnut mare, 
for which, he told us, he had refused 12,000 piastres. A 
few moments after him, a fellah came up, bearing some- 
thing in his bosom. The prince demanded to see what it 
was, and the fellah exhibited a quantity of houma or pea 
of the country — of which the former, without leave or 
apology, took as much as he wanted. 

We had reason to believe that inebriety prevailed 
among the Turks in Constantinople, but while in Syria 
saw only one intoxicated Arab — our muleteer on the 
present journey — who was rarely sober. On reaching 
Zebdany, he had deceived me about the best camping- 
place, and on my return from the fountain, I said to him, 
threateningly, as he laid beneath a tree, " I have a great 
mind to pour a pint of arrack down your throat for tell- 
ing me an untruth ;" when springing up, he exclaimed, 
u do, Howajeh, and I will kiss your feet !" 

Tuesday, June 27. The nature of the country before 
us rendered a long ride necessary to-day. We therefore 
rose at 3.45 A. M., the moon just peering over the eastern 
mountains, and started at 4.50, just as the first beams of 
the sun tinged the snowy peak of Hermon. At early 
daylight a great many goats were driven out to pasture, 
by herdsmen dressed in goat-skin jackets. We soon 
passed a holy well, enclosed, on the left ; with sixteen 
banners, bearing inscriptions, around it, and one sus- 

PLAIN of buk'ah. 497 

pended from an adjoining tree ; the road running parallel 
with the brawling stream ; — terraced gardens below, on 
one hand, and barren mountains above us on the other ; 
with conglomerate rock cropping out, and huge boulders 
of it on the mountain-side and in the valley. 

Passing a small encampment of black tents, we ascended 
a hill-side, and skirted along a beautiful ravine, with a 
village at its head, surrounded by orchards. Here we 
entered upon an elevated plateau, three-fourths of a mile 
wide and five miles long, narrowing to the north, where 
a depression in the ridge leads to the great plain of 
Buk'ah. We then came upon a narrow, but highly cul- 
tivated valley, with a stream running through it. There 
were quantities of grain just reaped, and much of it ready 
for the sickle. A village, through which we passed, was em- 
bowered in the luxuriant foliage of the mulberry and the 
walnut. The houses were mud-plastered, stone huts; the 
people uncleanly in their persons and attire, — the women 
and children particularly so. The latter were mostly 
employed in bearing bundles of mulberry twigs, with the 
leaves on, to feed the silk- worms in their dwelling-houses. 

Until we came upon this valley, the prevailing rock 
was a coarse conglomerate ; but here, the blue limestone, 
which yesterday dipped, again cropped out, and was suc- 
ceeded by white calcareous limestone, with some quartz. 

The stream widened, and increased in velocity, as we 
descended, and the strata of the cliffs above us were 
nearly at right angles to each other, — some horizontal, 
others perpendicular, and a rock upon the summit looked 
like a fortification in ruins. The willow, which early in 
the morning was occasional, became afterwards frequent ; 
and on the brink of the stream were plane-trees, large in 
girth, but stunted and gnarled. Below them were wild 
roses, the yellow honeysuckle, and other flowers : we 
here saw a beautiful bird, resembling the oriole. 
42* 2g 

498 ba'albek. 

Passing by several villages, and a deep ravine with 
large blocks of conglomerate in its bed, we rode over the 
rolling, but parched and dreary plain of Biik'ah, with 
Ghebel Sunnin, crowned with snow, on our left. The 
Arabs hold that the ark rested on Sunnin after the flood, 
and that Noah lived, and was buried, in this plain. Of 
the last, which was part of the Coelosyria of the Romans, 
we know that it was the high road along which Egyptian, 
Syrian, and Roman hosts have passed, in devastating 

Early in the afternoon, we came in sight of the ruins of 
Heliopolis, or the Great Temple of the Sun, at Ba'albek. 
While our eyes were riveted upon the colossal mass of 
architecture, we were startled by a reverberating sound, 
the echo of our horses' tread, as if there were caverns or 
excavations beneath. We camped without the village, 
on the banks of the small, but rapid and clear stream, 
dignified with the name of the " river of Ba'albek." 

Thoroughly conscious of inability to convey an idea of 
these ruins, even if our exhausted condition had permitted 
sufficient notes to have been taken for the purpose, and 
as we possess an excellent sketch of them, taken by Mr. 
Aulick, I will select, from the description of Lamartine, 
some passages which are not exaggerated, and correspond 
with our own observation. 

After describing a small octagonal temple, with a dome- 
roof, supported on granite columns, which is about half a 
mile distant from the great temple, he says of the last : — I 
" Mingled in confusion around it were shafts of columns, 
sculptured capitals, architraves, cornices, entablatures, 
and pedestals. Beyond, rose the hill of Ba'albek, a plat- 
form 1000 feet long and 700 feet broad, built entirely by 
the hands of men, of hewn stones, some of which are from 
fifty to sixty feet long, and fifteen to sixteen high, and 
the greatest part from fifteen to thirty above the ground. 


Three pieces of stone give a horizontal line of 180 feet, 
and near 4000 feet of superficies. On this prodigious plat- 
form the temple stood; and the six gigantic columns, 
bearing majestically their rich and colossal entablature, 
soared above the scene. 

" We skirted one of the sides of this hill of ruins, on 
which rose a multitude of graceful columns of a smaller 
temple. There were some having their capitals un- 
touched and their cornices richly sculptured ; and others 
were leaning, entire, against the walls which sustained 
them. But the greatest number were scattered in im- 
mense heaps of marble or stone upon the slopes of the 
hill, in the deep ditches which surround it, and even in 
the bed of the river flowing at its foot. There were pro- 
digious walls, built of enormous stones, and almost all 
bearing traces of sculpture ; the relics of another era, 
which were made use of at the remote epoch when they 
reared the temples which are now in ruins. From the 
summit of the breach, all around, were seen marble door- 
ways of a prodigious height and breadth; windows or 
niches bordered with most admirable sculpture, arches, 
pieces of cornices, entablatures and capitals. We were 
still separated from the second scene of the ruins by the 
interior buildings, which intercepted the view of the tem- 
ples. According to all appearance, we were but in the 
abodes of the priests, or on the sites of some chapels, con- 
secrated to unknown peculiar rites. We cleared these 
monumental constructions, much more richly worked 
than the outer wall, and the second scene of the ruins was 
before our eyes. Much wider and longer, more decorated 
still than the one we had left, it presented an immense 
platform, in the form of an oblong square, the level being 
often broken by the remains of a raised pavement, which 
appeared to have belonged to temples utterly destroyed. 
All around this platform extended a series of chapels, 


decorated with niches admirably sculptured, with friezes, 
cornices, and the most finished workmanship. The only 
failing, is a superabundant richness ; the stone is crushed 
beneath its own weight of luxury. Eight or ten of these 
chapels still remain almost uninjured, and they seem to 
have always existed thus open to the square they are 
built around, for the mysteries of the worship of Ba'al 
were doubtless celebrated in the open air. 

" We then proceeded south, where the six gigantic 
columns reared their heads above the ruins. They are 
each seven feet in diameter and more than seventy 
high ; they are composed of only two or three blocks, so 
perfectly joined together that it is scarcely possible to 
distinguish the lines of junction; their material is a 
stone of a colour between marble and sand-stone. These 
columns were either the remains of an avenue, or of an 
exterior decoration of the temple. 

" Opposite, on the south, was the smaller temple, on 
the edge of the platform, about forty paces distant. It is 
of inferior proportions to that which the six colossal 
columns recall. It is surrounded by a portico, sustained 
by columns of the Corinthian order, each of them being 
five feet in diameter and forty-five feet in shaft, and com- 
posed of three cemented blocks. They are nine feet 
distant from each other, and the same space from the 
wall of the temple. A rich architrave and a beautifully 
sculptured cornice run around their capitals. The roof 
of this peristyle is formed of large blocks of stone, cut by 
the chisel into concave hollows, in each of which is repre- 
sented the figure of a god, a goddess, or a hero. Some of 
these blocks had fallen ; they were sixteen feet wide and 
nearly five feet thick. Not far from the entrance of the 
temple were large openings and subterranean stairs, which 
led to lower constructions, the use of which cannot be 
assigned with certainty. They seemed to extend through 


the whole space of the hill. The pedestals of this group 
of monuments are constructed of stones of prodigious 
dimensions. They are of hewn granite, some of them 
fifty-six feet long, fifteen or sixteen broad, and of an 
unknown thickness, and are raised one upon the other, 
twenty or thirty feet above the ground. They are evi- 
dently of a different date from the temple, and belong to 
an unknown era ; and have, probably, borne a variety of 
temples, sacred to a successive variety of creeds. There 
are arched passages, about thirty feet high, beneath the 
platform, running its whole length and breadth. 

" The other ancient edifices of Ba'albek, scattered 
before us on the plain, had no power to interest us after 
what we had just inspected. We threw a superficial 
glance, as we passed, upon temples which would be con- 
sidered wonders at Home, but which are here like the 
works of dwarfs. One of them had served as a church, 
and the Christian symbols still remain. It is now unco- 
vered and in ruins. The Arabs despoil it as they have 
occasion for a stone to support their roofs, or of a trough 
to water their camels." 

Wednesday, June 28. Weather, warm and calm ; — at 
mid-day, the heat oppressive, many of the party com- 
plaining, and some seriously indisposed. I determined, 
therefore, to forego a thorough examination of the ruins ; 
and, abandoning the contemplated journey to the cedars 
of Lebanon, to hasten, with all practicable speed, to 
Beirut, in the hope of meeting our ship. We found here 
a very beautiful species of the pink lark-spur, and also a 
pale, yellow honeysuckle, a native of the south of Europe, 
and naturalized as far north as Scotland, but which has 
not, before, been recognised so far to the East. 

At 3.45 P. M., started, and passed a quarry where a 
huge block of granite lay ready, as it appeared, for trans- 
portation. We only stopped a sufficient time to measure 


it. It proved longer than any in the ruins of the temple. 
An intelligent gentleman, whom we afterwards met, 
informed us that, on digging down, he discovered that its 
bottom was not detached from the rock beneath it. 

Crossing the plain towards the Lebanon range, in an 
hour we passed a fountain near an artificial Koman 
mound. At the first were three fellahas, who expressed 
great fear of the 'Anazeh Arabs. Two of them were 
young, and one unmarried : their faces were uncovered, 
and their lips stained blue. They were timid, but not 
uncourteous. Crossing the head-waters of the Litany, we 
were compelled to continue on for some time after dark. 
The mountains in solemn gloom, and lights here and 
there on the plain, indicated a distant village ; the 
silence unbroken, but by the tramp of the animals and 
the tinkling bells of the caravan. At length we heard 
the welcome sound of dogs barking, succeeded by the 
voices of men; and at 9.45, camped, by starlight, near a 
village, where three snow-capped mountains overlooked 
the plain. 

Thursday, June 29. Two of the men sick last night, 
one of them very much so. We seemed to have imbibed 
the disease which has heretofore prostrated all who have 
ventured upon the Dead Sea, and were about to pass 
the ordeal. As I looked upon my companions drooping 
around me, many and bitter were my self-reproaches for 
having ever proposed the undertaking. 

Started at 7.10 A. M., our course north-west for the first 
half hour, to regain the high road, from which we last 
night diverged in search of water. Our route then led 
along the flank of Lebanon towards the south-west. Here 
and there upon the plain on one side, and in every nook 
of the mountain on the other, was a village, through or 
beside which flowed a rivulet, bordered with trees and 
shrubbery, the only lines of vegetation above the plain. 


The cultivation was the same as we have heretofore seen, 
with the addition of the kersenna, a round pea with a 
hard shell, growing two or three in a pod, and resembling 
very large radish seeds in appearance. The kernel is 
saffron-coloured, sweet to the taste, and it is an article 
of food for oxen and camels, the last particularly. It is 
broken and given in moistened balls. "We saw very few 
birds in these mountains. We then traversed a well- 
watered and highly cultivated country, and passed through 
the village of Ma'alakah and the town of Zahley; the 
first seated on a slope, the last in a beautiful hollow of 
the mountain ; the borders of the streams, tributaries of 
the Litany, in sight below, lined with willow and a profu- 
sion of the silver-leaved poplar. Near the town, we met 
a fellah on a donkey, travelling with all his effects ; they 
consisted of a mat, two cushions, a pipe and an aba. 
This is considered the most flourishing town in the Leba- 
non, if not in all Syria. It has four Christian churches, 
each with its bell, which formerly was not permitted in 
the Turkish dominions. The houses present a neat ap- 
pearance, and many of them were whitewashed. The 
people courteously saluted us as we passed. There are 
said to be some gipsies here. 

From this place I sent the interpreter ahead to engage 
quarters for us in the vicinity of Beirut, if the ship were 
not there, as medical attendance would be required imme- 
diately upon our arrival. The horse he rode, the best 
traveller we had, died upon the way. Descending and 
skirting along the root of Lebanon, we turned and clam- 
bered up again, and stopped to rest at noon upon a ter- 
race overlooking the whole plain of Buk'ah — a glorious 
sight — but we were too sick to enjoy it. 

At 3.50 P. M., started again — two of the party scarce 
able to sit upon their horses — but we were obliged to pro- 
ceed for want of accommodation. The road was a most 


execrable one, leading over the summit ridges of the 
Lebanon — a keen, cold wind blowing from south-west. 
From the highest summit we could see the mist above 
the sea, but not the sea itself. At 6.40 P. M., we were 
compelled to stop, and camped near a dirty khan, on a 
little platform overlooking the lovely valley of Emana, 
one thousand feet below. It was a cold night, during 
which Mr. Dale was attacked with the same symptoms as 
the other sick. One of the party, going out of the tent in 
the dark, nearly fell over the ledge down the precipice. 

Friday, June 30. A chilly morning — misty clouds 
sweeping over the mountain-tops and resting in the 
chasms. We were 4000 feet above the level of the sea. 
The two first taken sick were better, but Mr. Dale was 
worse. In company with Mr. Bedlow, I sent him ahead, 
that he might obtain the best medical advice as soon as 

Started at 7.2 A. M., the road winding over almost im- 
passable mountain ridges, in some places by steps cut in 
the rock, and yet it is the high road from Beirut to 
Damascus — one, the principal sea-port, and the other, 
the capital of all Syria. In our weak condition, we 
travelled slowly ; the way grew longer and longer as the 
day wore on, and the coolness of the morning was suc- 
ceeded by the scorching heat of noon. 

For a short distance we travelled along an old Koman 
road, the curb-stones distinctly perceptible ; and at 10.30, 
saw the ruins of an aqueduct over the river of Beirut. 
There was a single tier of arches on the north, and a 
double tier on the south side of the stream. At 11, 
Beirut and the sea in sight, but the sick scarce able to 
keep their saddles, when fortunately we met our country- 
man, Dr. De Forest, of the Evangelical Mission, who pre- 
scribed some medicine to be administered as soon as pos- 
sible. At 11.20, stopped at a khan for that purpose. In 


an hour started again, and near the village of Bhamdun 
passed some deposites of petrified clam and oyster shells, 
with some ammonites. Just below was ferruginous sand- 
stone, which dipped towards the west, next carbonate of 
lime and calcareous limestone. At one place the crum- 
bling sandstone presented a variety of hues, light brown, 
dark brown, maroon, purple, yellow, and pink. Two 
miles below, the sandstone descended to the plain, and 
vegetation increased. The wheat which grew so sparsely 
up the mountains as to be plucked up by the roots, was 
succeeded by the fig, the apricot, the vine, dhoura, beans, 
cucumbers and melons, while three-fourths of the space 
was covered with the mulberry. Along the road, just 
where the mountain sinks into the plain, were many 
carob trees, resembling the cherry in its trunk and limbs, 
and the colour of its bark, the apple tree in its leaves, 
and the catalpa in its fruit — a long narrow bean of an in- 
sipid sweet taste. As we opened the harbour of Beirut, 
our strained eyes sought in vain for the ship we so longed 
to see. My heart sank within me, as, after many alter- 
nations of hope and fear, the only three-masted vessel in 
the port proved not to be the Supply. The end who 
could foresee ! 

The luxuriant foliage of the plain intercepted the light 
breeze we had felt in the mountains, and it was exces- 
sively sultry ; but, we at length came to the groves of 
pine planted to arrest the encroachments of sand from 
the sea-shore, and thence riding through gardens that 
seemed interminable, we at length reached our quarters 
upon the sea-shore. Some of us were unable to dismount, 
from sheer exhaustion ; Mr. Dale, two of the" seamen, 
and myself, requiring immediate medical attendance. 

Saturday, July 1. All hands, nearly, sick. Dr. Suquet, 
a French physician, sent by his government to study the 
diseases of Syria, in attendance; but, feeling uneasy 
43 2h 


about two cases, I sent an express for Dr. De Forest. 
The weather warm and relaxing. 

Sunday, July 2. The sick mostly better. Dr. De Forest 
arrived. He said that much care was required; but 
that with care no danger was to be apprehended. He de- 
clined compensation. Weather warm but not oppressive. 

Monday, July 3. The sick much better, except one 
new case. Our wounded man came to see us. We were 
ever scanning the horizon for the expected ship. 

Tuesday, July 4. Sick convalescent with the exception 
of one of the seamen, attacked early in the morning. At 
noon, fired twenty-one guns in honour of the day 
Weather warm. 

On Monday, the 10th, Mr. Dale, in the hope of being 
more speedily invigorated by the mountain air, rode to 
Bhamdun, a village about twelve miles distant up the 
mountain. It was the dreadful Damascus road, which 
we had travelled eleven days before. He arrived 
thoroughly exhausted, but was the next day much re- 
cruited. On the second day, however, a sirocco set in, 
which lasted three days, and completely prostrated him. 
On the 17th I received intelligence that he was very ill, 
and immediately hastened up, and found him partially 
delirious. He laboured under a low, nervous fever, the 
same which had carried off Costigan and Molyneaux. 
He was in the house of the Rev. Mr. Smith, of the Ame- 
rican Presbyterian Mission, and received from all its 
members there the kindest and most assiduous nursing. 
Dr. De Forest was in constant attendance day and night, 
and his wife was as a ministering angel to the invalid. 
Dr. Vandyke came some distance to see him, and his case 
received every alleviation that the warmest sympathy 
could afford. 

The exhibition of this sympathy for a stranger, was 
strikingly contrasted by a case of unfeeling selfishness 
in the village. It is a custom among the villagers, 


the Druses excepted, to fly from any one supposed to 
be attacked with a contagious disease. A woman, 
who washed for Dr. De Forest, being taken sick, her 
family believing that it was fever, contracted from his 
clothes, in consequence of his attendance on Mr. Dale, 
they all, her husband and her children, immediately 
fled, leaving beside her a cucumber and a piece of bread. 
The Doctor could only prevail on the daughter to place 
medicine within her mother's reach. And they are as 
ignorant and superstitious as they are selfish. On occa- 
sion of a solar eclipse not long since, they beat upon tin 
pans, &c, to frighten away the serpents which they 
imagined were eating up the sun and moon. 

My poor friend lingered until the evening of the 24th, 
when he expired so gently, that it was difficult to tell 
the moment of dissolution. Determined to take his 
remains home, if possible, I started immediately with 
them for Beirut. It was a slow, dreary ride down the 
rugged mountain by torchlight. As I followed the body 
of my late companion, accompanied only by swarthy 
Arabs, and thought of his young and helpless children, I 
could scarce repress the wish that I had been taken, and 
he been spared. At times, the wind, sweeping in fitful 
gusts, nearly extinguished the torches ; and again their 
blaze would stream up with a lurid glare, as we made 
our way through chasms and hollows, enveloped in a 
dense and palpable mist. We reached the neighbour- 
hood of the town at daylight, and the body was imme- 
diately placed in three coffins, (one metallic, and two 
wooden ones,) and laid in a vacant building. 

In the gloom, consequent on our loss, we waited impa- 
tiently for the Supply ; but in vain we hourly scanned 
the horizon. On the 30th, one month after our return, 
the physicians advised us to leave at once, as there could 
be no hope of the recovery of the sick at Beirut. I there- 
fore chartered a small French brig, to take our boats and 


effects, the body of our friend, and ourselves, to Malta. 
An unhappy accident in the transportation of the remains 
from the shore to the vessel, and the superstitious fears 
of the French captain and his crew, compelled me most 
reluctantly to land them. About sunset, as the Turkish 
batteries were saluting the first night of the Ramedan, 
we escorted the body to the Frank cemetery, and laid it 
beneath a Pride of India tree. A few most appropriate 
chapters in the Bible were read, and some affecting re- 
marks made by the Rev. Mr. Thompson ; after which, the 
sailors advanced, and fired three volleys over the grave ; 
and thus, amid unbidden tears and stifled sobs, closed 
the obsequies of our lamented companion and friend. 

At 9 P. M., we embarked on board of La Perle d' Orient; 
and, after a tedious passage of thirty-eight days, during 
which we suffered much from sickness, debility, and 
scarcity of food and water, we reached Malta, and received 
every possible attention from our Consul, Mr. Winthrop. 
Coming from a sickly climate, we were not permitted to 
enter the town, or to associate with any one, but were 
confined in a building apart. 

On the 12th of September, the Supply having arrived, 
I had the satisfaction of reembarking the Expedition, 
with only three of its members on the sick-report. 

Sailing thence, we touched at Naples, Marseilles, and 
Gibraltar, in the hope of procuring supplies ; but, in the 
two first places, we were refused pratique, and from the 
third, we were peremptorily ordered away. Like the dove 
that could find no resting-place, our weary ship then 
winged her way for home ; and, early in December, we 
were greeted with the heart-cheering sight of our native 








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first time, presented in a complete state to the English reader. — Franklin Institute Journal. 

In addition to the valuable scientific matter contained in the original work, very extensive Americai 
additions have been made to it by the editor, which are exceedingly valuable, and of much interest! 1 
the general reader. 

The publishers have spared no pains in bringing out a work of superior mechanical execution an' 
rare excellence, with numerous skilfully engraved cuts, designed to illustrate the various subject 
treated in this work. We feel confident that as a truly useful publication, it will be eagerly sought aAe 
and highly appreciated — N. Y. Farmer and Mechanic. 

We had the pleasure of noticing, in a former number, the first volume of this excellent work, and o 
expressing our high sense of its value. We need say little more, therefore, of its continuation, than tha 
it fully sustains the character of its predecessor, both in regard to ihe value of the original treatise, am 
the number and importance of the additions which have been made to it by the English editors.— Th 
British and Foreign Medico- Chirurgical Review. 






First American Edition, with Additions, 


In Two Octavo Volumes, beautifully printed. 

Volume One, with five hundred and fifty illustrations, just issued. 
Volume Two, with three hundred and fifty illustrations, nearly ready. 


The second volume of this work embraces the application of the Principles of Mechanics to Roofs, 
Bridges, Platform Scales, Water Powers, Dams, Water Wheels, Turbines, Water Engines, &c. &c. 

This work is one of the most interesting to mathematicians that has been laid before us for some time ; 
and we may safely term it a scientific gem.^The Builder. 

From Charles H. Haswell, Esq., Engineer in Chief, U. S. N. 
The design of the author in supplying the instructor with a guide for teaching, and the student with an 
auxiliary for the acquirement of the science of mechanics, has, in my opinion, been attained in a most 
successful manner. The illustrations, in the fullness of their construction, and in typographical execu- 
tion, are without a parallel. It will afford me much pleasure to recommend its use by the members of 
the profession with which I am connected. 


Works on Chemistry, Metallurgy, Machines, The Steam Engine, Astronomy, Rural Economy, 

&c. &c. 





Assessor Pharmaciae of the Royal Prussian College of Medicine, Coblentz. 


Professor of Pharmacy in the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain 



Of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. 

In one handsomely printed octavo volume, of five hundred and seventy pages, with over 500 

engravings on wood. 


The most minute details are described 

The work is original in its design and complete in its execution, 
with great accuracy; and the illustrations are so well executed and so nurnerous, that a cursory inspec- 
tion of the work is sufficient to convince the reader of its great practical utility. It is a kind of work tor 
which there has long been a demand in this country, comprising a very complete account of all Pharma- 
ceutical operations, with the various modes of conducting them, as well as the apparatus.- Pharmaceu- 
tical Journal. 












For sale very low, in various styles of binding. 

During the long period which this work has been before the public, it 
has attained a very high character as an 


Containing, in a comparatively moderate space, a vast quantity of informa- 
tion which is scarcely to be met with elsewhere, and of the exact kind 
which is wanted in the daily exigencies of conversation and reading. It 
has also a recommendation shared by no other work of the kind now before 
the public, in being an American book. The numerous American Biogra- 
phies, Accounts of American Inventions and Discoveries, References to our 
Political Institutions, and the general adaptation of the whole to our own 
peculiar habits and modes of thought, peculiarly suit it to readers in this 
country. From these causes, it is also especially fitted for all 


in some of which it has been tried with great satisfaction. It fulfils, to a 
greater extent than perhaps any similar work, the requirements for these 
institutions, presenting, in a small compass and price, the materials of a 
library, and furnishing a book for every-day use and reference, indispensable 
to those removed from the large public collections. 

Some years having elapsed since the original thirteen volumes of the 
ENCYCLOPAEDIA AMERICANA were published, to bring it up to 
the present day, with the history of that period, at the request of numerous 
subscribers, the publishers have just issued a 




Vice-Provost and Professor of Mathematics in the University o." Pennsylvania, Author of 
"A Treatise on Political Economy." 

In one large octavo volume of over 650 double columned pages. 



The numerous subscribers who have been waiting the completion of this 
volume can now perfect their sets, and all who want 


can obtain this volume separately : price Two Dollars uncut in cloth, or 
Two Dollars and Fifty Cents in leather, to match the styles in which the 
publishers have been selling sets. 

Subscribers in the large cities can be supplied on application at any of the 
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sets matched by sending a volume in charge of friends visiting the city. 

Complete sets furnished at very low prices in various bindings. 

" The publishers of the Encyclopaedia Americana conferred an obligation on the public when, 
fourteen years ago, they issued the thirteen volumes from their press. They contained a wonder- 
ful amount of information, upon almost every subject which would be likely to occupy public 
attention, or be the theme of conversation in the private circle. Whatever one would wish to 
inquire about, it seemed only necessary to dip into the Encyclopaedia Americana, and there the 
outline, at least, would be found, and reference made to those works which treat at large upon the 
subject. It was not strange, therefore, that the work was popular. But in fourteen years, great 
events occur. The last fourteen years have been full of them, and great discoveries have been 
made in sciences and the arts ; and great men have, by death, commended their names and deeds 
to the fidelity of the biographer, so that the Encyclopaedia that approached perfection in 1832, 
might fall considerably behind in 1846. To bring up the work, and keep it at the present point, has 
been a task assumed by Professor Vethake, of the Pennsylvania University, a gentleman entirely 
competent to such an undertaking ; and with a disposition to do a good work, he has supplied a 
supplementary volume to the main work, corresponding in size and arrangements therewith, and 
becoming, indeed, a fourteenth volume. The author has been exceedingly industrious, and very 
fortunate in discovering and selecting materials, using all that Germany has presented, and resort- 
ing to every species of information of events connected with the plan of the work, since the pub- 
lication of the thirteen volumes. He has continued articles that were commenced in that work, 
and added new articles upon science, biography, history, and geography, so as to make the present 
volume a necessary appendage in completing facts to the other. The publishers deserve the 
thanks of the readers of the volume, for the handsome type, and clear white paper they have used 
in the publication." — United States Gazette. 

" This volume is worth owning by itself, as a most convenient and reliable compend of recent His- 
tory, Biography, Statistics, &c, &c. The entire work forms the cheapest and probably now the 
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" The Conversations Lexicon (Encyclopaedia Americana) has become a household book in all the 
intelligent families in America, and is undoubtedly the best depository of biographical, historical, 
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man's Journal. 

"This volume of the Encyclopaedia is a Westminster Abbey of American reputation. What 
names are on the roll since 1833 !"— N. Y. Literary World. 

"The work to which this volume forms a supplement, is one of the most important contnoutions 
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tively narrow compass, the substance of larger works of the same kind which had preceded it, it 
contains a vast amount of information that is not elsewhere to be found, and is distinguished, not 
less for its admirable arrangement, than for the variety of subjects of which it treats. The present 
volume, which is edited by one of the most distinguished scholars of our country, is worthy to 
follow in the train of those which have preceded it. It is a remarkably felicitous condensation 
of the more recent improvements in science and the arts, besides forming a very important addi- 
tion to the department of Biography, the general progress of society, &c, <tc."— Albany Argus. 







Complete in seven neat volumes in demy octavo, extra cloth. 

Bringing the work to the death of Lord Eldon, in 1838. 

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prosecuted his large task, the general candor and liberality with which he has analyzed the lives 
and characters of a long succession of influential magistrates and ministers, and the manly style 
of his narrative. We need hardly say that we shall expect with great interest the continuation 
of this performance. But the present series of itself is more than sufficient to give Lord Campbell 
a hi?h station among the English authors of his age." — Quarterly Review. 

" The volumes teem with exciting incidents, abound in portraits, sketches and anecdotes, and are 
at once interesting and instructive. The work is not only historical and biographical, but it is 
anecdotal and philosophical. Many of the chapters embody thrilling incidents, while as a whole, 
the publication may be regarded as of a high intellectual order."— Inquirer. 

"A work in three handsome octavo volumes, which we shall regard as both an ornament and an 
honor to our library. A History of the Lord Chancellors of England from the institution of the 
office, is necessarily a History of the Constitution, the Court, and the Jurisprudence of the King- 
dom, and these volumes teem with a world of collateral matter of the liveliest character for the 
general reader, as well as with much of the deepest interest for the professional or philosophical 
mind." — Saturday Courier. 

" The brilliant success of this work in England is by no means greater than its merits. It is 
certainly the most brilliant contribution to English history made within our recollection ; it has 
the chafm and freedom of Biography combined with the elaborate and careful comprehensiveness 
of History."— N. Y. Tribune. 











Assisted in Botany, by Professor HOOKER— Zoology, <fec, by W. W. SWA INSON— Astronomy, <fcc, 

by Professor WALLACE— Geology, &.C., by Professor JAMESON. 



In three large octavo volumes. 


This great work, furnished at a remarkably cheap rate, contains about 
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best style. 










Forming a handsome series in crown octavo, beautifully printed with large type on fine paper, done 
up in rich extra crimson cloth, and sold at a cheaper rate than former editions. 

Volume One, of nearly seven hundred large pages, containing Volumes 
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than six hundred pages, containing Volumes Four and Five of the 12mo., 
have just been issued. The remainder will follow rapidly, two volumes in 
one, and the whole will form an elegant set of one of the most popular his- 
tories of the day. The publishers have gone to much expense in pre- 
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quent inquiries for the " Lives of the Queens of England," in better style, 
larger type, and finer paper than has heretofore been accessible to readers 
in this country. Any volume of this edition sold separately. 

A few copies still on hand of the Duodecimo Edition. Ten volumes are 
now ready. Vol. I. — Contains Matilda of Flanders, Matilda of Scotland, 
Adelicia of Louvaine, Matilda of Boulogne, and Eleanor of Aquitaine. 
Price 50 cents, in fancy paper. Vol. II. — Berengaria of Navarre, Isabella 
of Angouleme, Eleanor of Provence, Eleanor of Castile, Marguerite of 
France, Isabella of France, Philippa of Hainault, and Anne of Bohemia. 
Price 50 cents. Vol. III. — Isabella of Valois, Joanna of Navarre, Katha- 
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wick. Price 50 cents. Vol. IV. — Elizabeth of York, Katharine of Arragon, 
Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, and Katharine Howard. 
Price 65 cents. Vol. V. — Katharine Parr and Queen Mary. Price 65 cents. 
Vol. VI. — Queen Elizabeth. Price 65 cents. Vol. VII. — Queen Elizabeth 
(continued), and Anne of Denmark. Price 65 cents. Vol. VIII. — Henrietta 
Maria and Catharine of Braganza. Price 65 cents. Vol. IX. — Mary of 
Modena. Price 75 cents. Vol. X. — Mary of Modena (continued), and 
Mary II. Price 75 cents. 

Any volume sold separately, or the whole to match in neat green cloth. 




Price 75 cents in fancy paper. — Also, in extra green cloth. 

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" A most valuable and entertaining work." — Chronicle. 

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-wildness of romance, will constitute a valuable addition to our biographical literature."— Morning 

" A valuable contribution to historical knowledge, to young persons especially. It contains a 
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have derived much entertainment and instruction from the work." — Athenaeum. 

" The execution of this work is equal to the conception. Great pains have been taken to make 
it both interesting and valuable."— Literary Gazette. 

" A charming work— full of interest, at once serious and pleasing."— Monsieur Guizot. 

"A most charming biographical memoir. We conclude by expressing our unqualified opinion, 
that we know of no more valuable contribution to modern history than this ninth vojiime of Miss 
Strickland's Lives of the Queens."— Morning Herald. 






In neat royal duodecimo, extra cloth, or fancy paper. 

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Biographical Sketches of Women celebrated in Ancient and 

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Mr. Moore has at length completed his History of Ireland containing the most troubled and inter- 
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far as the Great Expedition against Scotland in 1545, can procure the second volume separate. 

HISTORY OF TiHtfATilfrr^^^ IN 1815, 


In one octavo volume, with Maps and Plans of Battles, &c. 


1. Part of Belgium, indicating the distribution of the armies on commencing hostilities. 2. Field 
of Quatre-Bras, at 3 o'clock, P. M. 3. Field of Quatre-Bras, at 7 o'clock, P. M. 4. Field of Ligny, 
at a quarter past 2 o'clock, P. M. 5. Field of Ligny, at half past 8 o'clock, P. M. 6. Field of Water- 
loo, at a quarter past 11 o'clock, A. M. 7. Field of Waterloo, at a quarter before 8 o'clock, P. M. 
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June. 10. Field of Wavre, at 4 o'clock, A. M., 19th June. 11. Part of France, on which is shown 
the advance of the Allied Armies into the Kingdom. 




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This work having assumed the position of a standard history of this 
country, the publishers have been induced to issue an edition in smaller size 
and at a less cost, that its circulation may be commensurate with its merits. 
It is now considered as the most impartial and trustworthy history that has 
yet appeared. 

A few copies of the edition in four volumes, on extra fine thick paper, 
price eight dollars, may still be had by gentlemen desirous of procuring a 
beautiful work for their libraries. 

" It is universally known to literary men as, in its original form, one of the earliest histories of 
this country, and certainly one of the best ever written by a foreigner. It has heen constantly and 
copiously used by every one who has, since it